Despite NCAA investigation, Johnny Manziel will practice Monday
A reported accusation of an NCAA violation will not keep Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel from practicing when the Aggies open preseason camp Monday, a Texas A&M official said Sunday night.
"He will be at practice tomorrow," Aggies associate athletic director Jason Cook told SI.com on Sunday. He won't be made available to the media, however.
ESPN, citing unnamed sources, reported Sunday that the NCAA is investigating an accusation Manziel took a "five-figure flat fee" to sign hundreds of items while in South Florida for the BCS title game. ESPN reported Manziel and friend/personal assistant Nathan Fitch were approached by autograph broker Drew Tieman on Jan. 6 shortly after the men landed at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. ESPN reported Tieman and "at least one person associated with the signings" were contacted in June by James Garland, an NCAA assistant director of enforcement. Cook said A&M officials would have no further comment on the accusations at this point.
NCAA athletes are not allowed to sell their autographs for profit. Athletes found to have violated bylaw 18.104.22.168 can be suspended or banned from competition. In 2010, Georgia receiver A.J. Green was suspended for four games after it was found that he sold a signed jersey to an agent runner for $1,000. Also in 2010, Auburn continued to play quarterback Cam Newton in games despite an NCAA investigation into an accusation that Newton's father, Cecil, asked Mississippi State for money in return for his son's services during Cam Newton's recruitment out of junior college. In that case, Auburn declared Cam Newton ineligible on Nov. 30, 2010, because of a violation committed by his father. The NCAA restored Cam Newton's eligibility the following day and he did not miss any games.
Neither Manziel nor his mother, Michelle, responded immediately to requests for comment. Fitch also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.