Johnny Manziel autograph session under NCAA investigation, according to report


The NCAA is curious whether Johnny Manziel took money for signing memorabilia in January, which could put the 2012 Heisman winner's eligibility in danger.

The latest for Johnny Manziel, college football's lightning rod, is reportedly an NCAA investigation into whether or not the Texas A&M quarterback took money to sign autographs.

According to an ESPN report from Outside the Lines, the NCAA is looking into whether or not Johnny Manziel took tens of thousands of dollars to sign autographs on various memorabilia while in South Florida for the BCS National Championship game. Manziel was seen signing the items at the house of autograph broker Drew Tieman, but the story doesn't provide evidence Manziel was paid to do so.

Of course, the NCAA's amateurism rules prevent players from being able to profit on their name and image. Signing autographs itself isn't against the rules -- last week's feature stories by ESPN's Wright Thompson and Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples both touched on the large amount of time Manziel spends signing autographs, stemming from a time he didn't get an autograph from Tiger Woods -- but taking money for it would be.

At this point, there's no reason to believe he'll be ruled ineligible, but a player found to have broken the NCAA rule in question would be unable to play.

Manziel's hypothetical earning power has already been an issue. His family has taken steps to trademark "Johnny Football," although they wouldn't be able to use the trademark while he's in college, and sued a man using "Johnny Football" on t-shirts.

And yes, once upon a time, this happened.

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