Reports that payments were arranged for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel to autograph memorabilia in South Florida the week of the BCS National Championship Game took a new turn Monday morning.
According to the dealer, who was not named in Schad's story, Manziel signed items for him without payment during two autograph sessions, the first of which was at TAMU's team hotel the night before Manziel and the Aggies upset No. 1-ranked Alabama. It is unclear from the story whether Fitch's alleged request for payment happened before or after those sessions took place. As with Sunday's story by ESPN's "Outside the Lines," there is again no direct allegation that Manziel himself received any payments.
The totality of the allegations, however, looks bleak as the Aggies commence fall camp with their star quarterback's eligibility in question. The dealer told Schad he has declined six calls from the NCAA. He also provided Schad with what is called a "proof pic," used by dealers as a way of verifying that signatures are legitimate. Schad posted the photo on twitter:
Various Texas A&M players are expected to be made available to the media today as the Aggies begin fall practice. Manziel is expected to participate, but not speak to media.