Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M’s quarterback already being investigated by the NCAA for possibly doling out his autograph for dollars, worked with dealers to sign memorabilia at an additional two sessions, sources told ESPN's Outside the Lines
ESPN first reported in early August that Manziel apparently signed at four autograph sessions and may have been paid to do so; this new report cited sources who said Kevin Freistat, a Florida autograph dealer, set up two additional sessions for which Manziel was reportedly paid.
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The sources told ESPN that Manziel signed upwards of 4,400 times.
An NCAA bylaw stops players from taking money for promoting or selling a product or service.
Texas A&M and the NCAA have refused to comment. The college did confirm that it had hired Lightfoot, Franklin and White law firm of Birmingham to handle the matter, USA Today reported
Two autograph companies, PSA/DNA and JSA, authenticated the Manziel signatures from the autograph sessions with Freistat and also one included in the initial ESPN report that was supposedly organized by Miami autograph businessman Drew Tieman.
Representatives from the company confirmed their authentications, but said no one from their companies was at the signings with Manziel, ESPN said.
Manziel, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2012, continues to make the news and ESPN did a long, in-depth story looking at the teen’s life
and how his parents are taking the choices Manziel is making. Calling it “The Trouble With Johnny,” ESPN highlights Manziel’s arrest after a fight, the ups and downs of attitudes toward the star football player (a campus newspaper wrote a column, “John Be Gone”) and talked with his parents about their concerns.
The story said Manziel’s parents, Paul and Michelle Manziel, don’t think their son will go back for another year at College Station and that they spend their time hoping the “Johnny Football” persona won’t overrun their son.
“Yeah,” Paul Manziel said in the story, “it could come unraveled. And when it does, it’s gonna be bad. Real bad.”
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