The NCAA has decided to let Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel keep all financial earnings that come from successful lawsuits against those who infringe upon his “Johnny Football” trademark.
This decision could, in the future, potentially allow boosters to cleverly find a way to pay players. A booster could start selling merchandise with the player’s nickname on it, have the player file for a trademark, and then have the player sue the booster for damages.
Manziel has set up a corporation, JMAN2 Enterprises, and has filed to trademark his nickname, “Johnny Football.” Though Manziel cannot profit from the trademark until he leaves college, he can get damages for the unlawful sale of “Johnny Football T-shirts.”
According to ESPN, “Texas A&M’s compliance office recently received a ruling from the NCAA that a student-athlete can keep financial earnings as a result of a legal action.”
The Southeast Texas Record, a legal journal, reported that Manziel’s corporation is currently suing a man for selling T-shirts that read “Keep Calm and Johnny Football.”
Texas A&M cannot provide Manziel any financial support for his legal actions.