Johnny Manziel's family has hired an attorney experienced in representing individuals under NCAA investigation who predicts the governing body's current probe won't cause the Heisman Trophy winner to miss any playing time in 2013.
Jim Darnell, an attorney from El Paso, confirmed to USA Today that he was retained "a couple of weeks ago" by the Manziels to represent their son amidst a reported NCAA investigation into allegations he was paid for signing autographs. The Associated Press first reported that the Manziels had hired Darnell.
Darnell declined to discuss specifics of the investigation with USA Today:
"I can't say much," Darnell told USA TODAY Sports, "other than we're working through the process. He's cooperating with the investigation. We think when all this comes out on the other end, he'll be the starting quarterback for the Aggies against Rice."
The Manziel family announced via a statement released to the AP that neither Johnny Manziel nor other family members would comment in compliance with NCAA rules about commenting on investigations. Manziel has not publicly commented on ESPN's Outside the Lines report that he was paid to signed autographs for a broker in January, or subsequent allegations from other brokers.
Darnell's previous clients include Baylor head basketball coach Scott Drew, former Baylor head coach Darrel Johnson and former Baylor assistant coach Rodney Belcher, and former USC basketball coach Tim Floyd, who was a neighbor of Darnell's when Floyd was an assistant at UTEP. On Monday, Texas A&M confirmed a USA TODAY report that the school had retained the firm of Lightfoot, Franklin & White, which previously represented Auburn amidst allegations surrounding quarterback Cam Newton's eligibility in 2010.