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El Paso attorney hired to represent Heisman Trophy winner
By: Melissa Gundersen
EL PASO, Texas - An El Paso attorney is called to represent a well-known Texas A&M football player.
Johnny Manziel, a Heisman Trophy winner, is accused of getting paid thousands of dollars to sign autographs. He's hired El Paso based attorney Jim Darnell, who has experience in NCAA matters.
According Darnell, the NCAA doesn't allow amateur players to get paid. Since Manziel is a college football player, he's considered an amateur.
If he signed a shirt or signed a picture and handed it to a student, that student could then put it on eBay or sell it and there's no problem. The only person at Texas A&M University that can't profit from Johnny's autograph is Johnny, said Darnell.
ESPN reports, Manziel is accused of getting paid $7,500 from an autograph dealer to sign helmets and footballs. A video of Manziel with the dealer has surfaced, but Darnell points out, the video does not show Manziel getting paid.
"Everybody said this happened, but nobody's got any proof," said Darnell.
Darnell told KFOX14 if Manziel is found guilty, it could jeopardize his eligibility to play football with the Texas A&M football team. Darnell says the allegations are unfair.
Until yesterday the NCAA had a website where they were selling Johnny Manziel gear, and they took that down and called it hypocritical, said Darnell.
Darnell said this isn't the first time a player has been accused of something like.