COLLEGE STATION, Texas (WIAT) — Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has come under fire in recent days. The redshirt sophomore is at the center of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the NCAA into whether or not he received money for autographs on a number of occasions.
According to a report posted by ESPN.com on Tuesday, one autograph broker paid Manziel $7,500 for signing approximately 300 mini- and full-sized helmets on Jan. 11-12.
ESPN reportedly viewed cell phone videos, which were provided by the broker and recorded without Manziel’s knowledge, that showed Manziel signing items and conversing with the brokers.
Manziel can reportedly be heard telling the brokers “you never did a signing with me”, presumably to make sure the brokers understood they were not allowed to speak of the deal.
The broker was the fourth source to come forward to ESPN about a pay-for-autograph deal with Manziel.
One former autograph hunter, who spoke with CBS42 on condition of anonymity, said there would be no reason for the brokers ESPN has mentioned as sources to go public unless they were shorted money.
“It’s kind of ruined the process, to where the only guys who can get a lot of stuff done is to pay players,” the anonymous broker told CBS42. “So, for someone to come out and say, ‘Yeah, this guy took money at this particular time,’ it’s a safe assumption that the only reason they would do that is because they were screwed out of money they were promised for setting it up.”
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