Johnny Manziel doesn't do so well when he doesn't have football to fall back on. Manziel's family recently expressed concern in an ESPN piece over the possibility of him shattering beneath the pressure of his sudden celebrity status and how he behaves during the offseason. Which is why news that the NCAA is investigating Johnny Football for allegedly receiving a five-figure payment to sign autographs in a Miami hotel room this past January should be so disconcerting. If this is true, he may be headed for a fall sooner rather than later. This could be the longest offseason of his life.
In Wright Thompson's story on Manziel last week, one of the insights given in Thompson's story is the overwhelming volume of autograph requests Manziel gets on a daily basis and why he obliges to sign so many.
via ESPN's profile:
Through it all, Johnny tried to remember when he was a kid and Tiger Woods promised to meet him at the Isleworth clubhouse to sign an autograph and never showed. So Johnny signed everything, no matter how much he grumbled and cursed with a pen in his hand. Whenever he'd see his parents, they'd always have a carload of things to autograph. They hated it, and he did too. But they seemed compelled by manners, and obligation, and one autograph didn't seem like that big a deal. But taken together, they just boxed him in more: Even his own family wanted things from him. Whom could he trust?
If the NCAA uncovers wrongdoing and Manziel is suspended for the season or endures an interrupted sophomore campaign, this could be a huge minus for his NFL Draft status. Unlike AJ Green who was suspended for selling his jersey in 2010, scouts would like to see Manziel work on his mechanics. maturity and pocket presence.
Accusations against Manziel have been akin to the boy who cried wolf since he won the Heisman Trophy as he's been publicly attending NBA games courtside and chilling backstage at Drake concerts. However, as far as we know he's been flaunting his family's oil money. Why he'd risk football for a five-figure flat fee is inexplicable considering he may be losing out on millions as his draft stock tumbles. If the NCAA uncovers any proof of violations, he may want to put his NFL future on hold for another year.
However, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell, there is a chance that the NCAA is simply doing its due diligence and may not be able to prove any actual wrongdoing.
Two sources told "Outside the Lines" that Manziel agreed to sign memorabilia in exchange for a five-figure flat fee during his January trip to Miami for the BCS National Championship Game. Both sources said they witnessed the signing, though neither saw the actual exchange of money.
Three sources said Manziel signed photographs, footballs, mini football helmets and other items at the request of an autograph broker named Drew Tieman. Two sources, who are aware of the signing arrangement, told "Outside the Lines" that Tieman approached Manziel on Jan. 6, when he landed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to attend the game between Alabama and Notre Dame the next day.
If the NCAA investigation finds that Manziel has violated NCAA Bylaw 184.108.40.206 -- accepting money for promoting or advertising the commercial sale of a product or service -- he could be ruled ineligible.
Word of caution on NCAA investigation on Manziel: They still have to find compelling evidence to suspend him. Might not be easy.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) August 4, 2013