Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel found a defender in Texas A&M chancellor John Sharp, who told a local television station on Thursday that Manziel is "innocent."
"I know he's innocent," Sharp told College Station news station KBTX. "I know that he didn't do what they accused him of doing."
Manziel is alleged to have participated in autograph sessions in exchange for money, which is prohibited by the NCAA. He has participated in a reported total of six autograph sessions.
The NCAA is investigating Manziel in connection with the alleged signing sessions, and will not comment on the case. Manziel has not addressed the media since the allegations first surfaced, in an ESPN report, earlier this month. The Aggies open the season in College Station on Aug. 31 against Rice. On Thursday, SEC coaches snubbed Manziel by voting him to the conference's preseason second team. Georgia's Aaron Murray was the first-team choice at quarterback.