Feldman confirmed that NCAA investigators met with Manziel on Sunday for about 5 1/2 hours, first reported by ESPN. According to the source, much of the NCAA’s inquiry with Manziel Sunday was focused on the quarterback’s financial records and the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback told the NCAA that did not accept money from memorabilia brokers for autographs.
Hypothetically, let’s say Manziel did accept an illicit cash payment for signing autographs. How does the NCAA prove it? Autograph barons may leak things to ESPN. They aren’t answering the NCAA’s phone calls (NCAA would need one to go on record). Manziel does not incriminate himself. He, likely, was smart enough not to deposit that money in his personal bank account the NCAA can access. Any recent expenditures he can plausibly attribute to fabulously wealthy parents.
Compile mountains of circumstantial evidence if you wish. Trot out hypothetical bylaws if you wish. Unless the NCAA can obtain direct evidence a violation occurred, the Heisman-winning quarterback of a Top 10 SEC team will be playing football this year. And it will count.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]
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