The definition of “ameteur” may be shifting in relation to college athletes and whether or not they can be paid.
2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has decided to trademark his nickname, “Johnny Football,” and will proceed to sue the pants off third party entities making money off of that name.
On top of that, the NCAA will allow Manziel to keep the money he gains from these lawsuits recouping the money others have made off his image.
For those who would come after Manziel with torches and pitchforks decrying the death of amateurism, take pause.
Yes, Manziel’s education is being paid for because he plays football, but that’s it. He still has to deal with other expenses associated with being a college student and has next to no free time with which to work and deal with those expenses.
At the end of the day someone is making money off of “Johnny Football” merchandise, and since the phenomenon would not occur without Manziel dazzling the nation of college football fans with his arm and his legs, why shouldn’t he benefit from his image and copyright?
Protecting his trademark and allowing Manziel to keep the money from that protection makes perfect financial sense, and should be allowed due to the dangerous nature of Manziel’s sport.
Every game and practice is a blown out knee or career-ending concussion waiting to happen, so Manziel and collegiate athletes everywhere should be allowed to take advantage of the potentially small window they have to benefit on their athletic talents and marketability.