Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel claimed on Thursday that he made about $33,000 selling autographs while at Texas A&M, what he described as making “somewhat of a decent living.”
Manziel, however, insisted that he didn’t take any money until after he won college football’s top award in 2012.
Manziel told Barstool Sports that one day he was approached by a man who offered him a chance to make $3,000 — which he jumped on.
“We're doing it all sneaky, we don't want to get caught, we're trying to learn from everybody else who's got caught," Manziel said. "And I may or may not have gone back to this guy's condo and signed probably 10,000 pieces. He gave me three grand."
That specific deal isn’t that great, and equates to about 30 cents per autograph.
Someone there realized that, Manziel claimed, and connected him to another guy who offered him $30,000 instead.
"So this guy is like, 'All right, go to this room at the Fontainebleau. All this stuff will be in there laid out, and when you're done, just send me a picture of all of it, I'll give you the code to the safe, the money will be in there,'" Manziel said.
NCAA investigated Manziel for receiving money for autographs
The NCAA suspected that Manziel was getting paid for autographs while at Texas A&M, and investigated him for it before the start of his sophomore season.
Manziel was also suspended for half of one game in 2013 after he violated a rule banning students from allowing their name or likeness to be used commercially.
The NCAA, however, didn’t find any evidence that Manziel profited off of autographing items — something he claim in the interview with Barstool to be doing, but only after he won the Heisman in 2012. He spent one last season with the Aggies after that before he went to the NFL, though he spent just two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.
While getting paid $33,000 for autographs is clearly a violation of NCAA rules, Manziel issued a challenge to the organization to actually do something about it.
“If the NCAA wants to take my f***ing 9-4 season away and my Chick-fil-A Bowl against Duke, f***ing blow me,” Manziel said.
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