CFB roundup: Ex-NCAA official says Manziel should sit until cleared

The Sports Xchange

A former NCAA official said Monday that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel should not be eligible to play if there is any doubt that he accepted money for signing autographs.

Former NCAA enforcement director Mark Jones told the San Antonio Express-News that last year's Heisman Trophy winner should be benched while the NCAA continues its investigation.

"No one wants to play an athlete who's later determined to be ineligible, especially such a high-profile player," Jones said. "You don't want to risk having to vacate those games later on."

Florida attorney Michael Buckner, who focuses on NCAA investigations, agreed.

"A&M will not play Johnny Manziel if there's any question that he could be ineligible," Buckner also told the Express-News.

Last week, Manziel's attorney, Jim Darnell, said that Manziel is cooperating with the investigation and should start when the Aggies open the season Aug. 31 against Rice.

The NCAA is investigating allegations that Manziel was paid for signing autographs before the BCS national championships game in south Florida last January.

Thus far, Manziel has not commented on the allegations.

---The NCAA interviewed Mississippi State freshman Chris Jones regarding Mississippi's recruitment of him, reported Sunday night.

The specific nature of the interview is not clear.

Jones, a 6-foot-5 All American from Houston, Miss., officially visited Ole Miss on Jan. 25 and had unofficial visits to the school Feb. 1 and 3, according to

Jones told that he received threats from overzealous Mississippi State and Ole Miss fans prior to National Signing Day on Feb. 6.

---For the eighth straight year, the University of Texas once again collected the nation's most merchandising royalties of any school represented by the Collegiate Licensing Company, reported Monday.

However, Ohio State, Michigan State, University of Southern California and Oregon were not included because those schools are not Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) clients.

The college merchandising business rakes in $4.6 billion annually. Nike was the No. 1 apparel company and EA Sports was the top nonapparel licensee.

---The University of Cincinnati announced its football team will play its home games during the 2014 season at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, while Nippert Stadium undergoes a 15-month renovation project due to begin in December.

"I was impressed with the game day atmosphere we were able to create at PBS in 2011 and the stadium is a first-class facility," Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. "While we will have some logistical issues to deal with in moving an entire season of games to Paul Brown, I know our staff has a great working relationship with the Bengals and I am confident the environment will be the next best thing to Nippert Stadium."

Cincinnati is 1-3 all-time at games played at Paul Brown Stadium, but all three losses were by four points or less and the program drew a school-record home crowd there of 66,319 against Ohio State in 2002.