Posted August 05, 2013

Report: NCAA investigating whether Johnny Manziel was paid for autographs

NCAAF
(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Johnny Manziel reportedly signed hundreds of autographs in exchange for a five-figure flat fee. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The NCAA is investigating whether Johnny Manziel was paid for signing autographs in January, ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” is reporting.

The Heisman Trophy-winning Texas A&M quarterback agreed to sign hundreds of autographs on photos and sports memorabilia in exchange for a five-figure flat fee during his trip to Miami for the BCS National Championship Game, according to the report.

Manziel reportedly met with autograph broker Drew Tieman at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Jan. 6.

From the report:

Three sources said Manziel signed photographs, footballs, mini football helmets and other items at the request of an autograph broker named Drew Tieman. Two sources, who are aware of the signing arrangement, told “Outside the Lines” that Tieman approached Manziel on Jan. 6 when he landed at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to attend the game between Alabama and Notre Dame the next day.

After that meeting, three sources said, Manziel, accompanied by his friend and personal assistant Nathan Fitch, visited Tieman’s residence and signed hundreds of items in the main room of the apartment despite the fact that there were many people in the room. Before Manziel left South Florida, after taking in the title game, he signed hundreds of autographs more, one source said.

NCAA assistant director of enforcement James Garland contacted Tieman and at least one person associated with the signings in June to ask about Manziel-autographed items that were on sale on eBay, according to the report.

Manziel could be ruled ineligible to play if the investigation finds that he violated NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.1 — “accepting money for promoting or advertising the commercial sale of a product or service.”

The investigation continues a tumultuous offseason for “Johnny Football,” who has been under fire for his partying habits, which may have contributed to his early departure from the Manning Passing Academy in July.

STAPLES: Tracking Johnny Manziel: The quest to profile Texas A&M’s star

Photo Gallery: Johnny Manziel’s Rise to Stardom


90 comments
Greg30
Greg30

OMG, Johnny Football is the football version of Justin Bieber!!!!

joeshine730
joeshine730

Johnny Manziel is making even Mike Tyson look intelligent

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

One of the talking sports heads of TV recently compared Manziel to a comet. He'll shoot across the sky and be gone, or words to that effect. This assumes, of course, that Manziel will not welcome being ineligible for college football and turn pro.

Does anyone know if that's 'legal'? If the NCAA says he can't play for them I don't see why he couldn't go pro right away, not wait the two years from high school, or whatever the current rule is.

suffy
suffy

I hope this investigation ends up in court.  The colleges make millions off these students and the students should be reimbursed somehow for it.  Scholarships alone are not enough reimbursement.  They are working for the college.  There needs to be living expenses and these athletes, male and female, who are training have no time for work and studying and training.  They should be compensated for their training time.  

mashley278
mashley278

"waaaaahaaaaaaa...sniff sniff....the SEC!!! waaaaaahhhhh"...geez, you cry babies are embarrassing to your own conferences. Let's see...the PAC12 had their shot...lost, the Big 12..lost...the Big 10 lost...Independent..lost...the SEC has even beaten itself in the NCG. What are you crying about? You have had your chances, so quit whining. I'm sorry if your school with the little 50,000 person stadium can't get over the hump. I guess you all suddenly forgot about the pedophiles, tattoo artists, and purchasing players through 3rd parties...all outside the SEC. How many SEC programs have been hit with sanctions since 2000? Plenty. And so have other conferences. Here you go:

Seven-Time Violators
Auburn, Florida State, Texas A&M, California, Memphis, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Wichita State University

Six-Time Violators
Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, UCLA, USC and Texas-Pan American

 Five-Time Violators
Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, Cincinnati, Colorado, Miami (FL), Michigan State, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, UTEP, Washington and West Virginia.

Cool
Cool

Nathan Fitch, his personal assistant???  I mean, really, he needs a personal assistant?  Is this personal assistant also the one going online to take his classes for him?  Do they live together, sleep together, love together?

BobDavis
BobDavis

I hope this leads to another nail in the NCAA's coffin.

6marK6
6marK6

Tim Tebow! He was bigger and more successful than Manziel in college, and he never behaved like this in anyway. So maybe, just maybe, players are capable of dealing with fame and following rules


AdamSWalburger
AdamSWalburger

Ridiculous considering what the NCAA makes off of them......

6marK6
6marK6

I am not sure if Manziel's "I am not sure if I did or not, I was pretty drunk for the last seven months" argument is going to get him out of this.

DocDeep
DocDeep

In the grand scheme of things, signing autographs for money is not the equivalent of assault and battery or DUI.  

The colleges in Big Football market these players for their own benefit (SI reported Texas A&M garnered $37 million in marketing over his Heisman win).  How could anyone expect a teenager or young  twenty-something who has no training on how to deal with being a celebrity to act responsibly.  Professional athletes can't do it, why should we expect big name college players to be any different???

Washheightsboy
Washheightsboy

The SEC really needs to remind the NCAA who's in charge.

frymanation
frymanation

I dont like this kid, and hes hugely overrated...but the fact NCAA apparently owns the players names  and signatures and tells them where they can sign them, for who, and under what conditions is ridiculous. Did the players tell the NCAA  they were allowed to sign for TV deals with terrible networks, shitty bowl sponsorships and the BCS? This whole system is f'ed.

Washheightsboy
Washheightsboy

He may have violated a NCAA rule,but did he violate any SEC rules?  Trick question!  The SEC has no rules.

brighat
brighat

Why would somebody who comes from a very wealthy and prominent family need to charge people for autographs anyway? I'm sure he could easily afford on his allowance to live the privileged life that wealthy WASPs have. I guess he's just making his hay now because he might not have NFL caliber skills. Doubt anything will come out of it. Don't know why this is the top story on this site, though.

drm166
drm166

Since it's the SEC, I expect the NCAA to release a statement that simply says "no violations of NCAA rules were found."  Any other conference, people would be suspended.

beercrackin'g8r
beercrackin'g8r

I guess the "I'm from the inner city, and my folks are flat broke" line won't work in this instance?

Jerkzilla
Jerkzilla

Nothing points to this kid remotely being on the right track.  After so many incidents, you can't chalk it up to youth.

DEJ1948
DEJ1948

Manziel is the Justin Bieber of college football.   

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

Manziel boozing it up every night running around like some wild man , while good old reliable Bridgewater has his face probably in a play book figuring out ways he can improve his game. That is what a leader of men does, while children do what Manziel is doing. When will the media stop using Manziel's age as an excuse Bridgewater is also young too are you forgetting that.

UTKING
UTKING

He needs to realize he represents his school and the all the awards he won last year. So much for the Prestigious Heisman Award as being the best college football player in the country. If they find any evidence of improper earnings he be the first Heisman winner to be ineligible the very next season due to NCAA violations...

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

Ok let me get this right you hypocrites who use kids to stuff billions in your pocket and conceal it under the veil of free education for student athletes want to hassle a guy over a few dollars. The same guy who has been seen at court side basketball games, flying over the country attending the best parties drinking it up nightly and in casinos with fist full of dollars and you are bothering him over some silly autographs. NC double A- holes why not give back the money you robbed from these kids over the years and Manziel will do the same if he has any and we can call it even. At least sweat shops pay their workers... What's your excuse?

doghockey
doghockey

@joeshine730 As are you.   The guy is not exactly raping and murdering his way across the country.

Greg30
Greg30

@suffy I actually hope they shut down these ridiculous shames called NCAA Football.  The NFL needs a farm system and these programs have nothing to do with higher education!  Let's go to the Ivy League model where no one gets an athletic scholarship but instead gets appropriate financial aid based on need.  Also stop letting under qualified student in schools and hold everyone to the same academic standards!!

doghockey
doghockey

@mashley278 Wow, you told them.   Is this going to be your seventh grade project?

DocDeep
DocDeep

@6marK6  

No two people are the same.  Tebow had a different background and upbringing. 

iammagicland
iammagicland

@AdamSWalburger Yes, ridiculous to expect him to follow rules that he agreed with in return for a free education and a shot at making millions. Good thing he threw that all away!

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@DocDeep Well said Doc! The days of the NCAA and schools dictating what these kids can/can't do while in college should of ended long ago. They have no problem raking in the millions in revenue on these athletes but the athletes making them the money are painted as criminals for doing the same. However, Manziel is ruining his NFL stock and he needs to get a grip on his life so he doesn't end up being another has been or never was. He needs to tell his father to keep his mouth shut as well. Do a little research on that family and you will see why they act the way they do. None of them have worked for a very long time. 

6marK6
6marK6

@DocDeep So, the more serious rules in society should be followed, but not the others that you feel are not as important? Well, Billy robbed somebody, but it's not like he killed anybody. In society, you are expected to follow the laws and rules, all of them. You don't get to pick which "important" ones you pay attention to.

iammagicland
iammagicland

@frymanation Why is it ridiculous? HE agreed to it when he signed with the team. If he didn't like it, he was free to not sign. Nobody forced him to.

RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

@frymanation Maybe it's over rated to someone who's probably destined to make millions some day on Sunday, but they do get a free education, something the other 99% of the University students would kill to have. 

And again, the vast majority of money made by university's is NOT from TV deals, but rather from Federal Grant money, something that has absolutely nothing to do with some teams win column on a sports field. 

mashley278
mashley278

@Washheightsboy Quick! Someone call the WAAAAAAAMBULANCE for this guy..."sniff sniff..my team can't win because the SEC is dirty...(even though OSU and Oregon just got investigated and punished by the NCAA..)". Yes, Texas A&M was COMPLETELY clean until they entered the dirty SEC…cry all you want. Just have your team win their games, in their conference, and meet the SEC in the NCG…oh but I guess so many have…and lost.

mashley278
mashley278

@drm166 Kind of like Oregon? Oh and I guess the sanctions against Alabama and Auburn the past decade were super secret or something. Go cry somewhere else.

RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

@drm166 They'll find out his father was the one who made the money, and he'll be cleared of any wrong doing. 

 Meanwhile a booster gave someone in the Big 10 a free henna tattoo. 

 His entire team has been suspended for 6 years.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

@beercrackin'g8r no, because the "folks" part gives it away.  remember, inner city gangstas have NO parents...it's a "culture" thing !!!!!

mystafugee
mystafugee

@friendly--neighborhood--scrawler LOL, yeah, I'm sure Bridgewater is doing that.  The difference between these two is a Heisman Trophy and I'm guessing Bridgewater isn't dumb enough to seek out publicity.  

mystafugee
mystafugee

@UTKING So he's the perfect representative for his school and college football in general: full of excess and out of control.  

c.linke
c.linke

@UTKING These off-the-field problems have nothing to do with whether he was the best college football player in the country. The Heisman ballot says nothing about voting for the player with the cleanest liver and most spotless record.

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

@friendly--neighborhood--scrawler well, they DO get an education IF they decide to USE it. ALL is paid for so that b.s. goes away as regular kids have to WORK their way through.   But it is the CHARGING for the autographs which will get him.  That IS a dumb rule but see what Ohio State did by selling PERSONAL stuff.  it IS a joke

bobinpowell
bobinpowell

@doghockey @joeshine730  Well, Tyson didn't exactly rape and murder "his way across the country" either, so that doesn't exactly refute joeshine's comment about Manziel's inability to use any intelligence he might have.

DocDeep
DocDeep

@Voiceover310 @DocDeep  

So, putting myself in JM's shoes, you see an opportunity to help your family out, what child wouldn't act on that?  He sees the college making out well off of his work with no 'reward' for himself.  That would eat at anyone that has worked hard at their trade.  

The argument that he gets a free education, room and board loses steam when you see that his worth to the college in terms of marketing and sales, would pay for almost the entire football team's room and board. 

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@6marK6 I don't think that is what the Doc was getting at. Doc has a point and a good one at that. You think the school cares about the athlete or the millions they make off of him? In college shouldn't the student come first? 

schmak01
schmak01

@RichLGerhold @drm166 Actually it will be 'Uncle' Nate.  Turns out none of these brokers paid Manzeil, but afterwards Nate asked them for $$ for another session.  Looks like another case of an athlete plagued by leeches  trying to make a buck.

UTKING
UTKING

@c.linke @UTKING This has nothing to do with drinking it about a report the NCAA is investigating a five figure flat fee in received in Florida, which could also effect his team now and in the future...


friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

@WHO*IS*ESPN

They are not there for the education especially in division one and the players pay for their education hundreds of times over in their college career for the cash they bring into the colleges so they are not getting a free ride unlike people want you to believe. You know the cash is good when you can afford to pay the top coaches 5 million a year

iammagicland
iammagicland

@DocDeep @Voiceover310 Probably why Executive salaries have risen at record rates while employees work longer hours for less benefits. But why should that apply to college football?

DocDeep
DocDeep

@6marK6 @Voiceover310  

That is not what I was implying. Colleges are going to benefit from the college athlete's fame and they do so by marketing those players to the National and Local Media.  They, and we the public, shouldn't be surprised by these same athlete's trying to benefit from their fame as well.   The KIDS don't come with their own protective entourage of agents and PR people to help guide them.  

Everyone should be held accountable for their mistakes,but, and I did not express this thoroughly, trying to mark JM as evil incarnate (as some have done here) for signing autographs for money seems out of proportion to what his VIOLATION of rules, not the LAW was.  I felt the same way when the OSU players were ripped for getting free tattoos in exchange for jerseys.


6marK6
6marK6

@Voiceover310 @6marK6 Doc implies that if professional players are allowed to behave irresponsibly, college players should be afforded that right as well. I guess we will apply that to high school and little league next. Great. I would kind of like to see someone accept responsibility for their actions. I am not defending the corrupt and greedy entity known as the NCAA, but if a college player that is being afforded a lot of fame and leeway, he should also be expected to comply with some rules. Or perhaps he is too big for that?