“Johnny Football” wasn’t making money as a quarterback at Texas A&M, so he turned to signing memorabilia.
Former Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel joined Barstool Sports’ “Bussin With The Boys” podcast and admitted what we already knew — he made money in college off of his signature.
In 2013, the NCAA investigated Manziel for allegedly signing autographs at several locations — a clear violation of NCAA rules regarding player compensation. As reported by ESPN, the investigation revolved around a handful of autograph dealers who claimed that Manziel had signed over 4,000 items in exchange for payments at an event in Connecticut in January of 2013.
Texas A&M and the NCAA announced that Manziel was in violation of an NCAA rule which prohibited student-athletes from allowing their names or likeness to “be used for commercial purposes.” Manziel’s punishment — a suspension for the first half of Texas A&M’s 2013 season opener — was widely mocked for being too lenient.
Manziel denied making any money off of his signatures at the time, but his interview with Barstool Sports solidifies what many already suspected.
“I got to make somewhat of a decent living in college,” he said.
Manziel claims he accepted two different deals to sign thousands of autographs and was paid for both instances.
“This guy comes up behind me and was like, ‘Yo, how would you want to make three grand?’ I turn around, I’m like, ‘F*** yeah, bro’. I got like 65 bucks in my bank account. I’m waiting on that beginning of the month January stipend check,” Manziel told Barstool. “So I take this guy’s number down, we’re doing it all sneaky, we don’t want to get caught. We’re trying to learn from everybody else that’s got caught. May or may not have gone back to this condo and signed probably 10,000 pieces.”
Manziel also said that it was at the man’s condo that he was approached by a second man — who told him he was being ripped off — and offered him the number for another individual who would pay him $30,000 for his signatures.
“I’m signing these autographs, and this other guy who’s bringing the pictures over he’s like ‘Yo, you’re getting f****** ripped off. Here’s this guy’s number. Hit him up, he’ll give you $30,000.’”
“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.
Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman trophy in 2012, accumulating an SEC record 4,600 yards of total offense. He threw for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns while running for 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns in his redshirt freshman season.
“I got to make somewhat of a decent money in college,” Manziel continued. “We went 9-4 the next year, so if the NCAA wants to take my f****** 9-4 season away and my Chick-fil-A bowl against Duke, f****** b*** me”
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