Texas A&M Official Says NCAA Clarification Closes Johnny Manziel "Loophole"
Texas A&M VP/Business Development Shane Hinckley yesterday said that while the NCAA would allow QB Johnny Manziel to "collect damages if his corporation's lawsuit against the maker of the 'Keep Calm and Johnny Football' T-shirt pans out," it would "consider an intentional copyright violation for the purposes of funneling money to a player to be a violation," according to Andy Staples of SI.com. Hinckley said the situation is a "three-headed monster" that involves Manziel's likeness and intellectual property rights, as well as Texas A&M's intellectual property rights. He said that about 20% of the "unlicensed Johnny Football merchandise he's seen has also infringed upon Texas A&M's marks." Staples wrote it appears Manziel's case "will not be the one that brings down the NCAA's amateurism model." Despite the "suggestion that the ability to recover damages would be a loophole, the NCAA is aware of that possibility." Hinckley: "They specifically said that if it was an orchestrated event that it would fall under the enforcement proceedings and be a separate issue" (SI.com, 2/26).