The Texas A&M Football program isn’t generally thought of as a dirty program by any stretch of the imagination. Jimbo Fisher was penalized for impermissible contact with a high school recruit before his senior year but this would ultimately result in no real punishment.
As goes with most college football programs, there is likely a handful of rule-bending going on behind the scenes. The Aggies don’t do anything excessively against the rules and have been on close watch, staying on the NCAA’s good side.
Before this, there isn’t much to speak of over the past couple of decades. Well, there is one thing.
Former Texas A&M Football Heisman-winning QB Johnny Manziel was paid for autographs
Johnny Manziel was a lot of things in college. He was known as a partier, trash talker, and most of all, one of the greatest college football players to ever live.
He was an electrifying quarterback, winning the Heisman in his freshman year. The argument could even be made that he had the numbers to win it after his sophomore season, but the award would not be given to him twice in a row.
Through all of the madness, Johnny Manziel was a mostly clean player. He had some questionable moments on the field but never did anything too far outside of NCAA rules. Or so we thought.
On June 3rd, 2021, Johnny Manziel revealed that he had accepted money in exchange for autographs during his time in College Station in an interview with Barstool Sports. Enough money, in fact, to make a living.
Here is a direct quote from Manziel.
"“… I may or may not have gone back to this guy’s condo and signed probably 10,000 pieces. He gave me three grand.”"
Manziel maintained that he had not been paid for any autographs before he won the Heisman Award, but managed to make a “decent living” off of this in his sophomore year.
He also reportedly earned $30,000 from another individual who delivered the money to him via lockbox. Manziel was investigated at one point and only suspended for one-half of the team’s opening game in 2013.
Realistically, this is a situation that is not very upsetting. It is outside of the rules, but the fact that a college athlete who is responsible for millions of dollars of yearly revenue isn’t allowed to collect a few thousand dollars is bordering on slave labor by the NCAA.
The timing of Manziel coming out with this isn’t surprising, as the NCAA and certain states are beginning to take strides allowing college athletes to earn money based on their name and likeness.
You can have your own opinions, but I have no issue with Manziel doing this.