NCAA Investigating Manziel for Selling Autographs

ManzielTexas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly selling autographs for a five figure sum, according to ESPN.

Despite the ongoing lawsuits involving the NCAA and former athletes Sam Keller and Ed O’Bannon, NCAA rules regarding amateurism have not changed.  Under NCAA rules, a student athlete is expressly prohibited from profiting off the use of his own likeness or image.  Accordingly,  Manziel finds himself in the crosshairs of one of the NCAA’s most basic rules with his eligibility in jeopardy. 

 The Olympic Model

Many, including Yahoo! Sports writer Dan Wetzel, have advocated that the NCAA change its amateurism rules to those used to govern Olympic sportsThe Olympic model allows athletes to see their own marketing and endorsement deals.  Such a model makes of sense in the current athletic climate. 

While the pay-for-play debate is extremely polarizing and legally complicated, easing up on the NCAA’s prohibitions on student-athletes marketing their likenesses is much more simple.  Why not allow a student-athlete to take advantage of his or her likeness?  It appears to be a fair compromise between the status quo and pay-for-play.

A&M hires law firm

According to the USA Today’s Dan Wolten, Texas A&M has hired the law firm of Lightfoot, Franklin and White, the same law firm that represented Auburn during the Cam Newton investigation.

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