ESPN: NCAA investigating Manziel over autographs

ESPN says the NCAA is investigating whether Texas A&M
quarterback Johnny Manziel was paid for signing hundreds of
autographs in January.

Citing unidentified sources, ESPN’s ”Outside the Lines” said
the Heisman Trophy winner signed items in exchange for a
five-figure fee during his trip to Miami for the BCS championship
game.

ESPN said sources told ”Outside the Lines” that Manziel signed
photographs, footballs, mini football helmets and other items at
the request of autograph broker Drew Tieman.

Reached at his home Sunday night in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Tieman
declined to make any comment or take any questions from The
Associated Press.

ESPN reported that a source said James Garland, the NCAA’s
assistant director of enforcement, contacted Tieman and at least
one person associated with the signings in June.

”We cannot comment on current, pending or potential
investigations,” NCAA spokeswoman Emily Potter told the AP in an
email statement Sunday night.

Texas A&M also declined to comment.

”It is Texas A&M’s long-standing practice not to respond to
such questions concerning specific student-athletes,” the school
said in an email statement to the AP.

It’s unclear what level of involvement the NCAA has at this
point. When a player is believed to have broken rules, it’s not
uncommon for a school to declare that player ineligible, then ask
the NCAA to investigate and reinstate the athlete’s
eligibility.

Nate Fitch, a friend of Manziel’s, posted several tweets at that
time saying he was with the Heisman winner in South Florida for the
BCS title game. None of Fitch’s tweets around the dates of that
trip suggested anything about meeting with Tieman, or any
memorabilia signings.

Tieman’s Facebook page was taken down Sunday night, but cached
images collected from the page included a photo of him and Notre
Dame’s Manti Te’o, which was purportedly taken Jan. 3, less than a
week before the BCS game.