Manziel provides simple formula for players who want to get paid for autographs


The two-quarter timeout that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will serve sends a potent message to all other current and future college athletes.  If you can get paid to sign autographs and you’re willing to tell the NCAA you didn’t, the worst consequence you’ll suffer is an extended break from an early-season game you were likely to leave early anyway.

A joint statement from the NCAA and Texas A&M proclaims that “there is no evidence” Manziel received money in exchange for autographs.  In other words, Manziel denied it — and the NCAA had no other way to prove it, because the NCAA has no way to force anyone to talk other than Manziel.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp used that same money term regarding the absence of money changing hands:  “There is no evidence.”

So why is Manziel suspended?  According to the joint statement, he committed an “inadvertent violation regarding the signing of certain autographs.”

If Manziel didn’t get money (or, more accurately, if there is “no evidence” that he did), then the suspension necessarily arises from NCAA bylaw, which requires players to take affirmative steps to ensure that items bearing their names and likenesses aren’t sold for profit.

And so if Manziel sits out half a game, if he addresses the team “regarding the situation and lessons learned” (seriously), and if Texas A&M revises its internal education processes regarding student-athlete autographs for persons with multiple items, Manziel will be in the clear.

It’s a goofy outcome under circumstances where Manziel clearly did something he shouldn’t have done, but where the NCAA necessarily acknowledged that not much could be done about it — or perhaps that it would be hypocritical (and stupid) to keep Manziel from earning millions for others because he tried to generate a little cash for himself.

Still, when it’s time for Manziel to tell his teammates the lessons learned, he won’t have to tell the truth for his teammates to know it.  Manziel found a way to work a system that has been working all of them.

19 responses to “Manziel provides simple formula for players who want to get paid for autographs

  1. He took the suspension because he would be ineligible during a continued investigation. Which even if the NCAA still found nothing he would’ve had to sit out games anyway. He just wants out the NCAA and I don’t blame him.

  2. Is there a more hapless and feckless org than the NCAA? Of course there is, it’s the NFLPA and the NFL “trying” to come up with a PED policy!

  3. Only the NCAA can use your name and likeness for profit…

    Don’t dare impede on their market share!

  4. Couple things:
    1) What is the evidence that he signed autographs for money? Some dude said he did? Usually that isn’t enough in any walk of life.

    2) Manziel is the biggest thing popularity wise to hit the NCAA in a while. I doubt they wanted to give him the boot.

    3) It is f’ing ridiculous that players can’t sell their own freaking time, likeness, autograph, etc. They can’t even have fricken jobs. The NCAA is one of the only organizations that gets to take advantage of a situation the way they do and omg do they profit off it.

  5. Hmm. I wonder if this was a Championship game or a National Championship game.

    This could be setting the precedence for fans of the opposing teams to come up with random false allegations.

  6. Obviously the agent he allegedly sold autographs too, was to stupid to tape it and record it on audio. His word against his word. Not gonna work.
    Ya if I was a college BMOC I would sell mine to if it only meant missing 30 minutes of play.

  7. The NCAA and it’s governing body are a class act. I’m glad they’ve put their thirst for money aside to teach this kid a lesson. Nobody will ever do this ever again. Ever.

  8. Cash out on autographs? Slap on the wrist. Accept a free tattoo? Get off the team, fire the coach and impose sanctions. I don’t see where the logic and rationale fail here…

  9. What a complete joke, Ohio State players do it and the team loses a year of bowl eligibility and Tressel gets railroaded out of town, Johnny Touchdown does it and has to sit out a meaningless half of football, and no school penalty what a sham of a system.

  10. Till the media and the fans start standing up against the NCAA they will always do as they please.

  11. “perhaps that it would be hypocritical (and stupid) to keep Manziel from earning millions for others because he tried to generate a little cash for himself.”

    Boom, nailed it

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