With its Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel in hot water, Texas A&M is going with the same law firm that represented Auburn during an NCAA probe of Cam Newton's recruitment.
According to Dan Wolken of USA TODAY Sports, Texas A&M has retained Birmingham-based firm Lightfoot, Franklin, Wright LLC. Auburn paid the same firm $170,000 over a four-month span for legal counsel during a 2010 season that saw Newton win the Heisman and lead the Tigers to the BCS Championship.
ESPN's "Outside The Lines" reported Sunday evening the NCAA is investigating whether Manziel profited off his autograph, citing sources who claim Manziel was paid a five-figure fee for signing memorabilia in January. Doing so would be a violation, per NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199, and Manziel could be ruled ineligible for his redshirt sophomore season.
As the Aggies opened fall camp Monday, head coach Kevin Sumlin said Manziel would still practice with the team and that the school had limited information.
"We didn’t know anything about this until yesterday," Sumlin said. "Our University is doing its due diligence to find out the facts. As the facts start to come in, we’ll adjust accordingly.”