Autograph broker says Johnny Manziel accepted $7,500 for signing helmets
By Zac Ellis
Another autograph broker claims to have authorized payment to Johnny Manziel in exchange for the Texas A&M quarterback’s signatures, according to an ESPN.com report. An East Coast autograph broker told ESPN.com on Tuesday that Manziel was paid $7,500 for signing approximately 300 mini- and full-sized helmets on Jan. 11-12, while he was in New Haven, Conn., attending the Walter Camp Football Foundation event.
The broker showed videos to ESPN’s Joe Schad of Manziel signing the helmets as they were laid out across a bed in a hotel room, though the videos do not show Manziel accepting any money. The broker and his partner said the videos were originally intended to be used to verify Manziel’s signatures.
According to the ESPN.com report:
On the videos, which the broker said were recorded without Manziel’s knowledge, ESPN heard Manziel say “you never did a signing with me” and that if the broker were to tell anyone, he would refuse to deal with him again in the future. Manziel, who appeared comfortable throughout the video recordings, also said if asked, he would say he had simply been approached by various autograph seekers.
At one point, ESPN heard a broker ask Manziel if he would take additional cash to sign with special inscriptions, but Manziel declined, indicating he had done that before and it led to questions. The video does not show Manziel accepting cash, which the broker alleges happened three times. The broker told ESPN that Manziel said he wanted money for new rims for his vehicle.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Manziel was being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly signing memorabilia in exchange for a five-figure flat fee while he was in Miami for last season’s BCS title game. If Manziel is found to have violated NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52 — accepting money for promoting or advertising the commercial sale of a product or service — he could be ruled ineligible for his redshirt sophomore, and likely final, collegiate season.