Thursday, February 20, 2014

Johnny Manziel: Autograph Payments (2013)

Johnny Manziel, Division 1 Quarterback

Johnny Manziel is a Division 1 college quarterback in the NCAA. He just finished his second season with the Texas A&M Aggies, and plans to leave the university to enter the NFL Draft. In his freshman year with the Aggies, he broke numerous Division 1 records and SEC records, as well as becoming the first freshman to ever throw for 3,000 yards, and rush for 1,000 yards. These records and also being able to defeat the number 1 team in the country, Alabama, caused Manziel to win the Heisman Trophy that year. He then was given the name "Johhny Football". With all of this success in just one single season at Texas A&M, there comes another aspect as well, the fame.
Due to his stellar success as an athlete, he was not only an athlete anymore, but a celebrity as well. He was now being exposed to all the lights and perks of being a celebrity from VIP and backstage seats to concerts, to court-side seats at NBA games as well. He became very close to famous athletes and celebrities like Miami Heat player LeBron James, and musical artist Drake. Now this a 20 year old kid and is being exposed to all of this, and may be to much to take in for such a young man. Johnny may be a superstar, but is still a kid and his antics showed this after he became a star. He has always been criticized for his tweets that were sort of controversial, oversleeping during the Manning camp, and also being seen drinking and fighting on social media as well. Now the main thing he is being criticized for is during the offseason, when he accepted payments for autographs of memorabilia.
Manziel was reported to agree to a sort of "fee" from an autograph dealer named Drew Tieman. The fee was around $7500. This is in violation of NCAA Bylaw, which says they basically cannot use any autographed items to help with advertising, self promoting, and for payment. After extensive research by the NCAA, Manziel was suspended for a half a game for the next season.

NCAA logo

The stakeholder's in this case can be Johnny himself, the NCAA, Manziel's teammates and coaches, and also his family. Johnny in a way definitely expressed a type of individualism. Individualism can be the same as "egoism", which means to be sort of selfish. Johnny could be considered selfish because he has been doing alot of things to concern all of the people around him. From acting out on social media, and to the autograph case, it seems he does not really put anyone else before himself. All of this could have got him suspended even longer than a half of a game. This would have a huge negative impact on his teammates at Texas A&M, but it did not seem it crossed his mind.

UtilitarianismJohnny Manziel did in fact make himself happy while doing this but did not really seek the happiness of others. He was not really showing utilitarianism at all. If he was able to stay away from all the confrontation and was able to not be a part of those illegal transactions according to NCAA Bylaw, then maybe he would be considered Utilitarian. Many of the stakeholder's were affected by this unfortunate scandal. The team and coaches could have possible lost their star quarterback for longer than a half a game, the NCAA could have gotten some heat based on the type of punishment they handed out, and also the family would be scrutinized for years because of what he's done.

Texas A&M Aggies Football logo

Kantianism is also another trait that Manziel does not seem to possess. Kantianism is basically to act consistently and not to think you are exempt from rules, to respect people, and be motivated by "good will", which means to do something right because it is right. This is where the fame was the cause to this problem in my opinion. Many people believe that celebrities and professional athletes act above the law. Some of them do and some of them don't. I think with Johnny being such a young age and not as fully mature as these celebrities, he started to think doing this type of stuff was acceptable, and their would be no repercussions. He may have known that what he was doing with the autographs was illegal, but he felt "above the law" and figured nothing would happen. This was also a showing of disrespect to the power of the NCAA, and also to Texas A&M, who were most likely embarrassed by the scandal. Johnny was not looking for the right thing because his vision may have been clouded by the all of the perks of being famous.

Virtue TheoryThe virtue theory is essentially saying that if something or someone fulfills its function then it will live a happy life. The four virtues of character is courage, honesty, self control, and fairness. Johnny did not express two of these virtues, and that is honesty and self control, but then improved the self control. Johnny fell under investigation and was not willing to give any information on if he did or did not take payment for the autographs. He was not being honest and keeping it hidden, but in his defense most people wouldn't do that either, and they have the right too. He did not show much self control with his controversial tweets, and pictures of him partying, but he was able to tone it down and not show it on social media as much anymore. He is not an example of the virtue theory due to not being able to relate to those two virtues.

Johnny Manziel may be a great quarterback, and will be a star at the next level in my opinion, but he is still human. He is not above the law and does not need to act like he is. He is not being very ethical with the way he is acting, but I hope with this big case it can change him for the better.


Travis, Clay. "Manziel Episode Could Stagger NCAA." FOX Sports. FOX Sports, n.d.Web. 18 Feb. 2014. <>.

Berkes, Peter “Johnny Manziel Briefly Suspended, Ending NCAA Autographs Investigation -" N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. <>.

Mandel, Stewart "Autograph Scandal Will Follow Manziel Regardless of NCAA's Findings." N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. <>.

Sports, Daniel Uthman. “Report: Johnny Manziel Accepted Money for Autographs.” USA Today. Gannett. 05 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. <>.

"Johnny Manziel." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2014. <>.

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