Texas A&M Chancellor defends Johnny Manziel - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Texas A&M Chancellor defends Johnny Manziel

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The Chancellor of Texas A&M University is now giving public support to Heisman winning quarterback Johnny Manziel.

The NCAA is investigating if Manziel made money by autographing sports memorabilia.

Thursday, System Chancellor John Sharp defended the sophomore quarterback saying, "He's a good kid. He is an honest kid, he has his heart in the right place and I think a whole bunch of folks are mistreating him and I'm not very happy about that."

Sharp went on to say "I also think that...something is wrong with the system when we can make money off of our football players, the NCAA make money off of our football players and they can't be treated like Olympic athletes."

There is big money to be made by universities, video game companies and apparel licensees off the likeness and signatures of college athletes.

Money collected by schools each year represented by the Collegiate Licensing Company adds up to more than $4 billion.

For the eighth straight year, the University of Texas collected the most royalties of any college or university. SEC schools dominated the top 10 in royalty rankings released by the company.

"Look at UT, every time they play, that place is full of people," said Bobby Lo, the manager of Austin Sports Connection.

In his shop you'll find all kinds of sports memorabilia for sale, but you won't find anything signed by Texas A&M Heisman trophy winner, Johnny Manziel. The investigation into whether Johnny Football accepted money for autographs is turning up the heat on the debate of whether college athletes should be paid.

"If they want to change the rule, its okay with me, that they should get paid a decent fee," said Lo.

Former Longhorn and 1998 Heisman trophy winner, Ricky Williams is also sharing his opinion.

Williams said, "The one thing I would tell Johnny is...you know that once you win the Heisman trophy there's gonna be more attention on you and so you're probably not gonna be able to get away with all the stuff you got away with before. To the media I would say 'If the media would've done their research on who this kid was, nobody would be surprised.'"

While some pro and student athletes are supporting Manziel, others argue compensation in the form of full scholarships is enough, and paying student-athletes would ruin the purity of amateur athletics.

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