Originally Posted by Dan B.
I like "Johnny Cash" myself but both are pretty nice.
Stemp, I have a hard time seeing what complaining about ESPN, counting Clowney's autogaphs on EBay, or pointing out that autograph brokers are disreputable people is going to accomplish.
ESPN's "Outside the Lines" reported that the NCAA is investigating three different brokers' claims that Manziel traded thousands of autographs for at least $10,000. Was ESPN lying? Making it up? They then reported that one broker was in possession of a video in which Manziel tells the broker that if anyone asks, he was never there, that he was just signing items for individual fans, and he and the broker never met. He then said if the broker said anything he would never work with him again. Again, your explanation is "he made it all up?" Yet another reporter for ESPN is saying it's at least six different sources. He's making it up too I guess?
I don't believe you'd accept that argument for anyone else. If ESPN broke the news that the NCAA was investigating Javon Clowney would you accept the number of items from JFF on EBay as proof of innocence? Would you just say "Joe Schad and every other reporter there is a joke, nothing to see here..." Would you justify it because the NCAA's system exploits athletes?
Let's get all the facts out there....
- In 2012 the Manziels trademark "Johnny Football" and start shutting down people who are profiting using said trademark.
- As part of this process, eBay ends all the auctions and sales of anyone who used "Johnny Football" and goes further by banning many of those sellers for 2 weeks. Obviously this hurts the cash flow of many people who are profiting from college players.
- Rovell reports NCAA is investigating Manziel for accepting a "5 figure fee" ($10,000+) to sign memorabilia.
- 2 days later, Joe Schad is contacted by a "broker" that says Manziel accepted $7,500 and says he has videos showing him signing his memorabilia as is asking for $80K for the videos. These videos were made illegally in CT.
- Schad looks at the videos but they don't show any wrongdoing by Manziel and ESPN declines to purchase the videos. The guy says he's ok with talking to ESPN,but won't talk to the NCAA.
- Schad says in the video he hears the guy offer manziel money to personalize autographs and Manziel declines. No one knows what was actually said so all the descriptions are based on Schad's recollection and interpretation.
- ESPN pushes the narrative that there is a large amount of sequentially numbered authentications by various brokers and that is unique to Manziel items being offered.
- Reports surface that "broker" who spoke with Schad has many arrests against him including dealing drugs.
- Schad now says it has numerous brokers from across the country who say Manziel (or his buddy) accepted money for signatures.
- Reports surface that this broker among others have large amounts of signed items by many big name college players.
- Pictures start to surface from the other big name players signing large amounts of items.
- USC, Louisville and Ohio State say they have investigated and they all clear their players.
- Reports surface that the there are large amounts of sequentially numbered authentications for other college players,which counter ESPN's narrative that this was unique to Manziel.
- Reports surface that the various "brokers", including the one with the video are all connected to each other and they may have placed large bets on Alabama prior to coming forward to ESPN.
- There is still no evidence whatsoever that Manziel accepted money for signing.
- Every accusation made, except by the one arrested for dealing drugs, was made anonymously to ESPN by people in a very shady business and who refuse to speak on the record to anyone.
So what does this all boil down to? Johnny, Clowney, Bridgewater and others have signed large amounts of memorabilia which is being authenticated and sold by "brokers". Were they paid? Maybe but there is no evidence of it. And the accusations are being made by shady people, who may have a motive to screw over Manziel because of what happened on eBay and whose profession it is to get college players to somehow sign a bunch of stuff so they can sell it for a profit, which is against NCAA regulations.
If this were another school's player being targeted, I probably wouldn't care much and certainly wouldn't take as much interest. But yes, I would question Schad and Rovell since they have proven they have little, if any, journalistic integrity and I would question the accusations of shady brokers who hide behind anonymity and an illegally made video that no one can see and that the one person who has seen it says nothing on it shows any wrongdoing.