Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reported Wednesday that a Texas-based trading card company has caused a bit of a stir by inserting autographed trading cards of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel into its football packs.
The company, Leaf Trading Cards, maintains that the company is doing nothing illegal and won't compromise Manziel's eligibility.
"Leaf wishes to clarify that neither the cards, the use of the signatures included in the cards, nor the artwork, is sanctioned by or endorsed by the personality (Manziel), his university or any other organization or licensing body," the company said in an announcement posted on its website.
The autographs were apparently collected without the Heisman winner knowing they would be used for this purpose. Texas A&M had no comment on the issue.
This is the latest example of over-exuberant businesses trying to cash in on the Johnny Football phenomenon. It has led Manziel and his family to form a company called JMAN2 Enterprises L.L.C. to police such matters. Lawyers from the company have already sued at least two T-shirt makers who used the name "Johnny Football" on their products. Manziel has a pending trademark application on the term.
"If they say, 'Well, we're going to keep selling it' or whatever, that's where it comes to a point where we'll sue for damages," Manziel said.
As ESPN previously reported, the NCAA has told officials in Texas A&M's compliance department that Manziel would get to keep damages awarded to him from legal outcomes while maintaining his eligibility.
If this keeps up, Manziel might end up making a pretty penny from all this.