The NCAA is investigating whether Johnny Manziel, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M, was paid for signing photographs and other memorabilia, according to ESPN’s Outside the Lines.
The show reported, citing unnamed sources, that Manziel was paid a five-figure fee in Miami at the time of the BCS National Championship game this year.
The sources didn’t witness the exchange of money, according to ESPN, which reported that autograph broker Drew Tieman was involved in the alleged violation of NCAA rules that could make Manziel ineligible to play this season.
The items signed appeared on eBay, ESPN reported, and the NCAA’s assistant director of enforcement, James Garland, has looked into the possible infraction.
Manziel couldn’t be reached by ESPN for comment.
We cannot comment on current, pending or potential investigations, NCAA spokeswoman Emily Potter told The Associated Press in an email statement Sunday night.
Texas A&M also declined to comment.
It is Texas A&M’s long-standing practice not to respond to such questions concerning specific student-athletes, the school said in an email statement to the AP.
It’s not the first time that Manziel-signed items have been questioned. In March, a statement from the school stated that Manziel had denied ever having received compensation for his autograph.
Ohio State ready
The focus at Ohio State is about to finally shift to the football field.
The Buckeyes headed into their first practice Sunday with concerns – and also positives pointing to a run at a Big Ten and maybe even a national championship.
The Buckeyes have a better handle on coach Urban Meyer’s hurry-up offense. The defense has holes to fill.
Expectations are high, despite lingering questions about tailback Carlos Hyde and cornerback Bradley Roby.