Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has filed suit against a man selling T-shirts that read, “Keep Calm and Johnny Football.” ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell reports that Manziel claims trademark infringement.
Manziel’s claim to trademark rights in his nickname, “Johnny Football”, presents an interesting situation under NCAA rules. The NCAA prohibits a student-athlete from receiving financial benefits from the use of their image, but also requires a student-athlete, or a school on behalf of a student-athlete, to stop any unauthorized use of the student-athlete’s image.
I covered this issue in detail in a post entitled “Heisman Saturday: “Johnny Football” Raises Trademark, NCAA Issues.”
Interestingly, Rovell reports that a recent NCAA ruling held that a student-athlete can keep financial winnings arising from a legal action.