MIAMI — The NCAA has started an investigation into whether Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel was paid a five-figure fee for signing hundreds of photos and pieces of sports memorabilia in January, ESPN reported Sunday.
The Texas A&M star agreed to sign memorabilia in exchange for a flat fee when he went to Miami for the BCS national title game, according to the report.
If the NCAA finds that Manziel accepted money in exchange for the signed memorabilia, he could be ruled ineligible.
Manziel reportedly signed photographs, footballs, mini football helmets and other items at an apartment at the request of autograph broker Drew Tieman, who had approached Manziel at the airport when he landed. ESPN reported there were witnesses to the signing but they did not see an exchange of money.
James Garland, the NCAA's assistant director of enforcement, contacted Tieman and at least one other person in June, according to the report.
"We cannot comment on current, pending or potential investigations," NCAA spokeswoman Emily Potter told the Associated Press in an email.
Texas A&M and Tieman declined to comment. Attempts to reach Manziel were unsuccessful. The Aggies reported for fall camp Sunday, and coach Kevin Sumlin and three players are set to take part in a news conference today, but Manziel is not among the players scheduled, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Memorabilia dealers told ESPN the amount of Manziel product that went on the market after the BCS title game was overwhelming. Manziel's father, Paul, has alleged that many items were fake, but two leading autograph authentication companies, PSA/DNA and JSA, authenticated many of the items.
LSU: A lawyer for suspended running back Jeremy Hill arranged a meeting with a judge for today, up from Aug. 16, so the team's leading rusher from last year will learn whether he will remain on probation under terms allowing him to play. Hill pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery after punching a man outside a bar, a violation of his probation from an earlier misdemeanor plea. If the judge decides against a subsequent probation revocation hearing, Hill's fate at LSU will be up to coach Les Miles, whose team starts practice today.