Sunday, December 9, 2012

Johnny Football

Last night, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy, making him the first freshman (albeit a "redshirt" one) to do so in the history of the award.  His situation highlights the restrictions placed on college athletes, without a union representing their best interests, by both the NFL and NCAA.

1. Texas A&M plays in the 2013 Cotton Bowl on January 4th v. Oklahoma.
a. Payout to University is projected to be $ 7.35M.
b. Manziel, and everyone on a team playing in a post-season bowl game, are allowed to receive gifts up to $550 in cash value per NCAA rules.

2. Manziel is unable to enter NFL draft due to draft eligibility rules. [See Maurice Clarett.]
a. Would be eligible for 2014 draft, since he will be three years removed from his high school graduation—2011 (redshirt), 2012 (freshman), 2013 (sophomore year).
b. Note: As a future member of the NFLPA, Manziel had no official voice in the union as they negotiated to restrict player entry into the NFL draft with an age eligibility requirement collective bargaining with the league.  [Again, see Maurice Clarett.]

3. Texas A&M is able to market and sell any merchandise it wants, using the name and image of Johnny Manziel.
a. Note: the University is working with Manziel and his family to obtain the trademark “Johnny Football” even if Manziel can’t profit off of it now. [Link]

4. Texas A&M, the SEC, and broadcast stations will be able to market his appeal to corporate sponsors, raising rates and generating revenue for their broadcasts.

5. In order to retain his NCAA eligibility, Johnny Manziel is unable to obtain any financial benefit off his success as a clear violation of NCAA amateurism rules.

Seem fair to you?