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Law could be trouble for brokers in Manziel case PDF Print E-mail
Friday, August 16, 2013 12:14 AM

Associated Press

 

If Johnny Manziel did violate NCAA rules by receiving money for signing autographs, a Texas law could put the people who allegedly paid him at risk of being sued by Texas A&M.

Christian Dennie, an attorney with Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP in Fort Worth, Texas, writes on the firm’s website that the state of Texas passed legislation in 1987 to make “a person who violates a rule of a national collegiate athletic association … liable for damages in an action brought by an institution.”

To be liable, the person must have known or reasonably should have known a rule was violated and the violation must lead to disciplinary action against the student or institution.”

Manziel, who became the first freshman to win the Heisman last year, is being investigated by the NCAA. ESPN has reported it is for possibly receiving payment from memorabilia brokers for signing autographs in Florida, Connecticut and Texas this year. If he is found to have been paid for signing, it could compromise his amateur status and put his eligibility at risk.

Manziel’s attorney, Jim Darnell of El Paso, Texas, has said the quarterback is cooperating with the investigation, adding he believes Manziel will be playing Aug. 31 when the Aggies open against Rice. Texas A&M plays Sam Houston State a week later and hosts Alabama on Sept. 14.

Dennie, who attended law school at Oklahoma, worked in its athletic department and is the author of College Sports Law Blog, told the AP on Thursday that if the NCAA finds reason to penalize Manziel and/or Texas A&M, the school could file a lawsuit in Texas even if Manziel is punished for transgressions committed in Florida or Connecticut.

“With personal jurisdiction, it’s more complicated than just where something happened,” Dennie said.

Other factors that could determine jurisdiction include, where negotiations took place, where products were sold (in-person or online) and where advertising for the products was done.

Texas A&M would have to claim damages in a lawsuit, which Dennie writes could include lost television revenues and lost ticket sales of regular season, plus post-season athletic events “and “reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.” But those are just suggestions.

“The statute itself doesn’t outline specifics for damages,” Dennie added.

Texas A&M could get creative and even claim damage to its reputation that could be tied to revenues.

Ricky Williams begins career as college coach

SAN ANTONIO — Ricky Williams is the new running backs coach at the University of the Incarnate Word, bringing years of knowledge of the game to the small Catholic school looking to build its program.

Incarnate Word coach Larry Kennan called Williams “one of the biggest names in Texas football” and says he’ll be a boost to his team.

The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner and NFL All-Pro who led the league in rushing in 2002 is looking forward to getting back on the football field a year after his retirement from the NFL.

He wants to help his players “be much better than they think they can be.” Williams will work with the team part-time because he had already accepted a position working for the Longhorn Network during the football season.

 

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