Cam Newton, the former Heisman Trophy winner, said he conversed with enigmatic Johnny Manziel “a few times” this summer. Apparently, whatever Newton had to offer did not stick, as the news gets worse each day for “Johnny Football.”
The latest is that a Las Vegas broker said he paid Manziel $7,500 to sign helmets, a blatant violation of NCAA rules that could render the rising sophomore ineligible for the upcoming season. Not good.
Newton survived an NCAA investigation into pay-for-play allegations. He was not found to have committed any wrongdoing and was not suspended from any games.
Manziel “has to go through these types of situations to know how to handle them in the future,” Newton said. “When somebody comes up to you and asks for your autograph, you don’t know if they’re going to do it for good or bad” purposes.
“For any college athlete you are vulnerable to so many things,” Newton said. “You think everybody loves you for who you are.
“When I was there at college, so many people wanted from me and I wanted to give so much,” he added. “Like I would sign this and give my time and this, this and that. And nobody was looking at it through my [eyes]. If you say no to this particular person, you are going to be a [jerk]. You are going to be the person that people look at as, ‘What’s up? We came out here and supported you and cheered for you and you can’t sign an autograph?’ Never mind that you signed 300 other autographs before. But that’s the nature of the beast.”
Despite whatever Newton shared with Manziel, the Texas A&M star has struggled to stay out of the news since leading Texas A&M to an 11-2 record and an upset win over No. 1 Alabama en route to becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman.
The latest potential problem involves an ESPN report that the NCAA is investigating whether Manziel was paid for signing hundreds of autographs last January.
Newton said he hopes “that everything works out in the best for him so he can get back to what he likes to do and that’s playing football.”