Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel‘s father may have said it best when he told the media that, “It could all come unraveled.” Sure enough, his words now have a prophetic ring to them as the star quarterback now finds his eligibility potentially in question.
Earlier this week, a source claimed that the polarizing quarterback now known just as much for his off-the-field antics as his on-the-field-heroics, allegedly accepted a five-figure sum of money from an autograph broker in exchange for his signature on memorabilia.
Not long after that, a second source came out, stating that Manziel’s friend and personal assistant, known simply as Uncle Nate, told him that Johnny Manziel would no longer sign autographs unless he received money for them.
Today, ESPN is reporting that a third source is claiming that Manziel took $7,500 to sign 300 mini-helmets and footballs. Though the conversation between Manziel and the broker was recorded, albeit without Manziel’s knowledge, and there is no evidence of money exchanging hands, it simply adds fuel to the fire that Manziel may have violated NCAA rules. Especially when he can be heard stating, “You never did business with me,” and if news comes out that he did, they would have no future dealings.
The NCAA is currently investigating the quarterback, who’s eligibility could be in jeopardy if the investigation shows that he did indeed accept money from commercial items bearing his name.
With the Aggies’ season slated to start in less than a month, this ongoing investigation has put Texas A&M in a very precarious position. For the time being, Manziel is being allowed to participate in practices, however, they will soon be forced to make a decision about what to do with their Heisman winner.
If they choose to play Manziel during the NCAA investigation, they could be forced to vacate any wins if the NCAA comes back and declares that he is guilty of wrongdoing and therefore ineligible. On the other hand, they could issue their own suspension and wait to see what the NCAA investigation uncovers and hope that, if found ineligible, they will accept the missed games as “time served.”
With the Aggies poised to have their best season in decades, perhaps even in school history, it’s a decision that cannot be made lightly. It’s impossible at this point to say what the university will decide to do, but one thing is certain: every new piece of evidence that comes out against the best player in school history could force A&M’s hand to issue their own suspension and hope that the team can tread water until Manziel is allowed to return.