The trouble just keeps on coming for Texas A&M University quarterback Johnny Manziel.
ESPN reported Tuesday that an East Coast-based autograph broker played for the network two cell phone videos of the quarterback signing mini- and full-sized white Texas A&M helmets in a New Haven, Conn., hotel room. Manziel was allegedly paid $7,500 for over 300 autographed helmets, which he signed while in Connecticut for Walter Camp Football Foundation event from Jan. 11-12, this year.
The broker said the videos were taken without Manziel’s knowledge as a means of affirming the authenticity of the autographs, and the quarterback was paid three times while not being recorded. Manziel allegedly said the money would go to paying for new rims for his Mercedes.
ESPN reports, “Manziel [allegedly said on the video] ‘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.”
Manziel was previously accused of signing autographs for a separate broker in Florida mere days before, while he was in the state to watch the University of Alabama play the University of Notre Dame the BCS College Football Championship game.
If the NCAA can prove Manziel was paid for these autographs, he can be deemed ineligible to play for vioalting “NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199 -- accepting money for promoting or advertising the commercial sale of a product or service -- he could be ruled ineligible,” according to ESPN.
In a ESPN: The Magazine feature about Manziel, Wright Thompson reported Manziel has vowed to sign any autograph a fan asks him to after being spurned by Tiger Woods when he was a child. Signing autographs for free is not an NCAA violation.