Posted August 06, 2013

Autograph broker says Johnny Manziel accepted $7,500 for signing helmets

Johnny Football, Johnny Manziel, NCAA, NCAA Investigations
Johnny Manziel

An East Coast autograph broker claims Johnny Manziel accepted $7,500 for signing football helmets. (Greg Nelson/SI)

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 12.5.2.1 — 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.

192 comments
MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

Question That No One Is Asking:

If this is true, why did this autograph broker rat out Manziel?  What a creep:  pays a guy to break a technical rule, then "outs" him.

Moral of the story for Johnny Football:  lie down with dogs, expect to get fleas.

joe6647
joe6647

very nice.  trade in your college career for a measly $7500.

Southeast_Of_Dosorder
Southeast_Of_Dosorder

This sucks, I wanted Bama to beat A&M with Johnny. Now it's going to be a 45-3 beat down by The Tide. 

beercrackin'g8r
beercrackin'g8r

Cam Newton says he has talked with Johnny Manziel

---

Yyyyeah....it went something like this...

Cam: "Bro, I coulda shown you the way to get wayyyy more than that amount."

JFF: "buuuurrrrp ...can I have another beer?"

Blinker
Blinker

No wonder this idiot has been drinking like crazy.  He probably heard this story was going to come out a few months ago.  Even his dad says he is under pressure.  No kidding.  Enjoy your popularity while it lasts.  I'm surprised he did not Tweet "Look at my new $7,500 rims".  Oh wait....  his Twitter account was hacked.  Way to go Johnny jack@ss.

Bill Kearney
Bill Kearney

I don't understand why the broker would "set him up" for this as that would make his autographs not worth as much if he is penalized. Looks like a setup by a rival team who payed off the broker. BTW - I'm NOT a Manziel fan.

DocDeep
DocDeep

There is a narcissistic nature to most athletes and anyone in power (See Any A-list celebrity, Anthony Weiner and Mayor of San Diego) whereby they don't believe the rules apply to them.  The younger you are, the harder it is to discern "right from wrong" because, more than likely, they have always "been able to get away with it."

As this is something that will never go away, just sit back and wait for the next big name 'amateur' athlete to be accused of breaking the rules.  How long before Vegas puts up odds on which college player will get suspended????

I've always been interested in why you rarely here of hockey players getting into the same troubles as football and B-ball players.  I think it has to do with them having family at their side during their entire careers from a young age on through college.  As a result, they just have a more sense of responsibility.  Of course there are always going to be few bad apples but still rare in occurrence compared to F-ball and B-ball.

JimSmith4
JimSmith4

Funny how the unethical broker isn't named in the story.  Why are you trying to protect the broker ESPN?!  This world is all backwards as usual these days.

DocDeep
DocDeep

I had kinda hoped that JM had taken the money to help out his family instead of putting "new rims" on his car.  What does he drive BTW??

All the same, Texas A&M made a lot more than $7500 off of their college program.  Chump Change IMHO

JimKirkwood1
JimKirkwood1

What puzzles me is the lack of security at the Alabama hotel. That some unknown person could virtually force his way into a celebrity's room is bizarre

Mike26
Mike26

Unless there's a paper trail, Manziel's going to play all season and then go pro and be drafted in the 6th round.  He'll drink his way out of the league before training camp's over.

As for most memorabilia/autograph "brokers", these guys make AAU basketball "sponsors" and "coaches" look downright honest and Christian.  Most memorabilia brokers are lying creeps = so if their word is all the NCAA has, then it's got nuttin'!

stagger
stagger

The Alouettes are salivating right now. Grey Cup here we come!

6marK6
6marK6

Tim Tebow and Cam Newton did the exact same thing.....hey wait, no they didn't.

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

The sports "broker isn't spilling the beans because Manziel sold autographs, he is spilling the beans because Manziel stopped selling his autographs to this broker. This should be a lesson to all college athletes. Once the bad guys have you hooked for 1 instance of breaking the rules, they got you for a long time. Whether it be for helping to fix games, point shaving or making money by selling autographs the bad guys have you and you will be blackmailed into fixing more games or selling more autographs. This scumbag broker saw his money flow stopped so now he is getting back at Manziel.

mcmilch
mcmilch

Why do these parasites come out like this? I think laws should be enacted for anyone offers money to a college player. That will put an end to all this kiss and telling.

beercrackin'g8r
beercrackin'g8r

A. Nothing gonna happen cause JFF plays in the SEC. *note the cynicism*

B. this infuriates tOSU so much it causes Urb-Mey to have another stomach-ache/family separation disorder episode and he bails the night before their first game. *note--NO cynicism there*

mystafugee
mystafugee

so apparently the autograph dealer is a former felon.  Never mind the fact the NCAA's whole case against the  U. of Miami was built off the back of a convicted and currently incarcerated felon (Nevin Shapiro, and no, I'm not saying he's lying).  

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

This kid should be able to make money off his success. His coaches and the University sure are making money off him. The crime is that these kids are being exploited by a huge industry and most don't even get a college degree out of the deal.

GumpsterWorsley
GumpsterWorsley

I'll leave it to the rest of you to solve the legal questions and eligibility issues of Johnny Football. I'm more interested in his story from a cultural/sociological perspective. John Manziel is reflective of our society's attitudes toward money, fame, and futurizing. Manziel knows that the operative attitude is "cash in, then cash out." ( Make as much as you can as soon as you can in order to build a hedge against future needs.) Manziel also has already learned that fame is fleeting. One day you're on top of the world, the next day many want to stab you in the back or slit your throat. Besides fleeting fame for Manziel, many others get their 15 minutes as Warhol said, and fame tends to have a short shelf life;'it soon stinks. As far as the future goes, who knows? Even the most famous futurists beginning with Toffler are only guesstimating. We all can do that. Don't blame Manziel for being a typical American in a predictable situation.

BeauBradshaw
BeauBradshaw

When we talk about paying players, I often hear folk come back with the "The are getting paid. The are getting a free education, room and board, etc..." argument or something similar. But what if the player is a walk-on and not under scholarship, is not receiving that "free ride" and is paying for college out of pocket? Look at Doug McDermmit, who is Creighton's star player, coaches son, and NBA prospect. He is not on scholarship, he is on the team as a walk on. Should he be allowed to sell his autograph since he is not receiving a "free ride"?

Another thing, lets say i'm a high profile college athlete. My dorm room/apartment is getting really cluttered. I decide to clean out my closet and drawers and have a garage sale to get a little extra spending money to go out with my friends. The items I would be selling are all things which I have bought with my own money. I would sell some of my old shirts, gym shorts, shoes, etc. I have written my name inside of my shirts and shorts, like many other folks do, in order to keep track of my clothing. These items are now essentially "autographed" items. I set them up on a table and people buy them like any other garage sale. Now will some of my items sell for more than if someone else was selling the same items? Maybe, maybe not. Shouldn't I be allowed to keep the money?

Along the same line, lets say some of my buddies decide to have a big weekend out on the town and Im short on cash. I decide to take the Xbox 360 that I purchased last year to the local pawn shop to score some fast cash. I walk into the pawn shop and the employee gives me 50 bucks, which would be the going rate he would give to any fella who sold him an Xbox...do I get to keep the money or is that a violation?

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Okay, so the video goes viral. Everyone believes that JF signed for money. THEN, the NCAA decides that since he was recorded without his knowledge, and that is illegal, they are powerless to enforce their bylaws. 

I don't see it. That NCAA has to act. Like I've said in other posts, this is a little A-Rod-in-training. No responsibility. Pure entitlement. Claiming that, 'He's only 20. Doing what all kids do' won't save him. 

Assuming that the video is real. And is there any question of that?

ESPNSucks1
ESPNSucks1

Have fun sitting out two years before you can enter the NFL.

usameos6
usameos6

@MidwestGolfFan What I've heard (without confirmation, but it makes sense) is that because of Manziel's antics over the last 6 months, that the value of his autographs has dropped, leaving said weasel with a lot of autographed stuff that he paid a lot of money for that is no longer as valuable as it once was and he's mad about it.

usameos6
usameos6

@DocDeep I think that there's not a ton of media interest in "come here to play and I'll give you 50 pounds of back bacon" stories :)

Terry
Terry

@JimSmith4 

Are you suggesting that Manziel is somehow the victim?

He did something he knew was wrong and sought to keep it from being revealed.

declue
declue

I was thinking the same thing.  Why hasn't this sleaze ball been named?  Obviously knew that paying the player for autographs was jeopardize his eligibility.  Guy was out to turn a quick buck...  Just feels dirty.  Why ESPN, and SI for that matter, would protect his identity is very ODD.

BobDavis
BobDavis

@mcmilch No, the rules against selling an autograph, shirt, etc should be abolished.

BobDavis
BobDavis

@JeffBockert Agreed.  Nobody would stop a comp sci major from creating the next Facebook or Amazon.com.  There's too many people getting paid in sports to let the athletes get any: School, coaches, NCAA, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, ESPN, ...

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@JeffBockert You're right but that just means that the rules need to change in the future and he still deserves full punishment for breaking them in the present and in the past.  He knew the rules when he signed up and he was fully aware that he was in violation of them the whole time. 

GoPSULions
GoPSULions

@JeffBockert The operative word is "should".  He knows the current rules, and if he did break them, he should show some character and come up and admit it.  If A&M self punishes him with say a 4 game suspension, the NCAA may just accept it.  If they continue to try and stonewall it, it could cost him a lot more.

Craig
Craig

@JeffBockert While I tend to agree there are issues with making money using these young men, if they leave school without a degree that's their fault.  Somebody is getting a free ride and if they're too dumb to take advantage of that let's not blame the schools.  

usameos6
usameos6

@GumpsterWorsley I think the fact that scholarships are on a year-by-year basis furthers this argument as well.  If something happens to an athlete and they can no longer perform or if a coaching staff changes and they decide to go in a different direction, the athlete can be cut immediately.  However, if the athlete wants to leave, they have to sit out for a year (with the school's agreement) or two years (without).  This adds to the feeling that there is no loyalty in either direction and because of that, players feel like they need to get what they can, when they can.

ChitownTexan
ChitownTexan

@BeauBradshaw I was a walk-on, at Texas A&M actually and the NCAA forced me to give up a $7,500 scholarship I had received when I graduated high school. The scholarship was specifically for students attending TAMU and was based on a combination of academics, athletics and community involvement. Since it wasn't solely based on academics, the NCAA said I had to forfeit the scholarship or be made ineligible for football. That really sucked because I was not a highly recruited athlete by any means. They just applied a rule to me with a very broad brush. I hate the NCAA and I hope that this all comes down on their heads, hopefully without taking Manziel down, too.

mystafugee
mystafugee

@BeauBradshaw The xbox example is a good one because the NCAA would have to make an arbitrary ruling.  I'll say one thing about the  NCAA, they are a fine example of today's society, trying maximize profit and minimize compensation.  

c.linke
c.linke

@BeauBradshaw  

Folks can argue until the cows come home about whether the rules are just. But they are the rules, and Manziel should have known better. But he thinks he's bulletproof and now a good program in Texas A&M is likely going to see their season go in the crapper because of one player's selfishness.

mystafugee
mystafugee

@Rickapolis I agree, how dare this person think he should be able to profit off himself, talk about feeling entitled.  Next thing you know, people think they should be compensated for their own hard work.  

BeauBradshaw
BeauBradshaw

@ESPNSucks1 Why does he have to sit out 2 years? The NFL states that a player must be 3 years removed from HS before entering the draft. At the end of this season, Manziel will have met those guidelines 

anoynamouse
anoynamouse

@c.linke @BeauBradshaw agreed 100%. I'm not saying this shouldn't change in the future but what you agreed to is what you must follow up with. If you said you wouldn't take money in exchange for a free education...follow thru!

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@mystafugee @Rickapolis Sorry but I don't buy into your whole "should be able to profit off himself" thing.  He signed his scholarship and is obviously very aware of the rules that came with it.  If you don't like the contract, don't sign it.  It's really just that simple.

BPotts
BPotts

@BeauBradshaw @ESPNSucks1 I think he means that he will not play this season and therefore, having only one year of stats. People still think that this past year was a fluke. He needs another banner year so he sits out this year (if he gets suspended) and come back or goes to the CFL and takes two years to hone his skills.


Craig
Craig

@BeauBradshaw @anoynamouse @c.linke It is true that walk-ons are not getting a free ride.  No question about that.  However, with a few exceptions, walk on's also aren't players that are in a position to make lots of money due to their fame.  Now and then a walk on might become "famous" but in most of those cases they are then given a scholarship, having proved their worth.  Let's not confuse this issue with something that really isn't part of the discussion.  Johnny Football isn't a walk on.

Also, if you're not on scholarship, you're not limited from taking outside employment. although your time devoted to your sport probably makes that pretty tough.  You're comparing apples and bananas.

BeauBradshaw
BeauBradshaw

@anoynamouse @c.linke @BeauBradshaw guess you missed the point where I said not all college athletes are getting a free education and that some of these kids are walk-ons not under scholarship, paying their OWN tuition...

BamaRolls
BamaRolls

@jhsweeney 

Whats your point?  When you get a driver's license you are agreeing that you will live by the rules or suffer the consequences when caught not doing so.  Manziel agreed by signing the scholarship that he would follow the rules or suffer the consequences.

You do not have to like or agree with rules in order to be held accountable for breaking them.

jhsweeney
jhsweeney

Seriously - can we assume you drive to the nearest police station to request a ticket every time you find yourself exceeding the speed limit? Or telling you boss to dock your pay whenever you take an extra 5 minutes for lunch?We all consciously break the rules from time to time. That doesn't make it right, or mean he won't end up paying for his actions, but please stop acting like he's done something unimaginably wrong. He got paid $25 / signature, and the stuff he signed sold for 5-10x that amount!

BeauBradshaw
BeauBradshaw

@BPotts @BeauBradshaw @ESPNSucks1 

Maybe but, I took his statement as trying to imply that he would not be eligible to enter the NFL  (which he would be). 

You could be right about him needing more time to hone his skills, but I have to think that if he does indeed lose his eligibility and decides to enter the NFL draft next season one of the 32 teams will take a chance on him at some point in the 7 round draft. 

While his numbers last year may have been a little inflated and it could be very possible that if he were to play this season, his numbers would decline with other SEC teams having a year of film on him to break down, the loss of supporting cast members, and his overall off the field issues. I would like to think that using a 5,6, or 7th round pick would be worth the risk for a player that performed the fashion which he did last season.