Paul Manziel, the father of Heisman Trophy Winning Texas A&M Quarterback Johnny Manziel famously once warned that his son's celebrity 'could come unraveled, and when it does, it could be bad.' Well, after a dicey off-season, that unraveling may have begun.
ESPN's Outside the Lines reported exclusively late Sunday that the NCAA is investigation whether Manziel profited from signing autographs at the behest of a Florida memorabilia seller. If the claims are confirmed, Manziel could conceivably lose his eligibility. The Number Six rated Aggies are set to begin their second SEC Conference football season on August 31st.
Two sources tell Outside the Lines that Manziel pocketed a 'five figure' fee for signing autographs during a trip to Miami in January for he Discover BCS National Championship game. Both sources told the site they witnessed Manziel signing the autographs, although neither saw any money being exchanged.
Manziel signed photographs, footballs, mini football helmets, and other items. It happened less than a month after Manziel became the first freshman ever to win college football's top honor, and his celebrity was at its zenith.
Texas A&M declined to comment on the report.
Manziel has been skating on thin ice during a wild off season in which he rubbed shoulders with celebrities at events like the NBA Finals, was seen drinking and gambling in Vegas, even though he is not yet 21, and he entered a guilty plea to a charge stemming from an incident in College Station in the summer of 2012.
When the Manziel-signed items began flooding the memorabilia market last summer, A&M said it had no indication that Manziel was paid for signing them, which would have been a violation of NCAA rules.