Johnny “Football” Manziel will be taking the field as the Texas A&M quarterback this fall, despite the cascade of potential NCAA violations he’s facing.
At least if his attorney is to be believed.
Jim Darnell, an attorney specializing in NCAA infractions hired by the Manziel family, says that the beleaguered football star is “cooperating with [the current investigation against him]. We think when all this comes out on the other end, he'll be the starting quarterback for the Aggies against Rice." Manziel is currently facing losing his eligibility to play because he allegedly signed a lot of autographs for a lot of money.
For those who need to be brought up to speed: Manziel is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, the first “freshman” to win the award (“freshman” is used loosely—Manziel was a college sophomore when he received the award, though he was only in his first year of actually playing college football). Manziel has been a lightning rod for criticism since receiving the prize. Last spring, he only attended classes online, not wanting to be a “distraction” to his classmates. He has also been seen hobnobbing with various celebrities, getting kicked out of frat parties at the University of Texas, and going on Twitter-rants about getting parking tickets. He was also dismissed from the Manning family’s QB academy for being too hung-over to perform his duties.
Some have dismissed his antics as those of a young man surprised by celebrity and struggling to cope. Others have assumed that his behavior stems from a lifetime of small-pond stardom and upper-middle-class entitlement (his parents bought him a Mercedes in high school).
His latest and perhaps greatest threat to football success stems from the allegation that he’s taken thousands of dollars from sports memorabilia brokers for autographs, as first reported by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.” According to NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199, “accepting money for promoting or advertising the commercial sale of a product or service” is prohibited, and a player can face being rendered ineligible to play if he or she does so. The 2013-14 season will be Manziel’s final season if he declares for the 2014 NFL draft, so if the NCAA finds that he is guilty of selling his name for profit, he’s likely seen his final snap as a college quarterback.
The worst part of this? He allegedly sold $7,500 in autographs to get new rims for his car. Now there’s a guy who knows smart spending.