Johnny Manziel admitted Thursday to accepting up to $ 33,000 for signing autographs during his freshman year in a red jersey at Texas A&M, after winning the Heisman Trophy.
The former Texas A&M quarterback, in an interview with Barstool Sports, said he accepted deals from two different men to sign thousands of autographs. Manziel was in Miami at the time for the 2013 BCS championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame.
“This guy came up behind me and said, ‘How would you like to win three of the greats?’ I turn around and go, ‘F … yeah, bro.’ I’ve got like $ 65 in my bank account. I’m looking forward to that January stipend check from the beginning of the month, “Manziel told Barstool. “So I’m writing down this guy’s number, we’re doing it all on the sly, we don’t want to get caught. We’re trying to learn from everyone else who got caught.”
MORE: Reggie Bush Among Rookies On 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot
Manziel said he went to the man’s condo, where he was paid $ 3,000 to sign 10,000 autographs, 30 cents per autograph. While there, Manziel said another man approached him to tell him he was being scammed and offered him the number of someone who would pay him $ 30,000.
“I’m like, ‘F – yeah, man.’ I’m making ($ 3,000) then ($ 30,000),” Manziel said. “So this guy is like, ‘Okay, go to this room at the Fontainebleau. All the things will be in there, and when you’re done, just send me a picture of everything, I’ll’ I’ll give you the code to the safe and the money will be there. ‘
Manziel said he was not concerned that the NCAA would repeal his 2012 Heisman campaign stats, or Texas A & M’s 9-4 record, adding that he had not accepted money before winning the most prestigious individual award in college football. The NCAA generally has a four-year statute of limitations, which means Manziel’s admission will not result in any punishment for A&M.
Here’s the full video of Manziel explaining the situation. (warning: explicit language used):
At the time, the NCAA investigated that Manziel had been paid to sign up to 4,400 autographs, including in South Florida. The organization found that while Manziel violated the rules of image and likeness of the name at the time, he did not receive money from the transfers. He was suspended during the first half of the Aggies’ season opener against Rice, who won 52-31.
Manziel in 2012 became the first freshman to win the Heisman, throwing for 3,706 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also added 1,410 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. The following year, he threw for 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns with 13 interceptions, rushed for 759 yards and nine touchdowns.
Manziel entered the 2014 NFL Draft after his second-year red jersey season, becoming the 22nd pick for the Cleveland Browns, where he was legally paid to play. Even so:
“I managed to earn a pretty decent living in college,” Manziel said.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.