Could “Johnny Football” lawsuit open NCAA loophole?

Johnny Manziel

"Johnny Football." "Honey Badger." "AD."

Could these be the key to opening a loophole in NCAA rules prohibiting college athletes from profiting off their on-field exploits?

According to The Southeast Texas Record, the corporation owned by Heisman Trophy winner and man about town Johnny Manziel, JMAN2 Enterprises, has filed a trademark infringement suit against a man who sold shirts using the "Johnny Football" moniker. (Texas A&M's gunslinging quarterback is sharing in a deep Aggie tradition in that regard.)

Here's the kicker, though. According to Darren Rovell of, although Manziel's company profiting off of him would constitute a violation of NCAA rules, the amateurism cops have blessed financial gains stemming from legal action. In other words, Manziel is free and clear to keep any earnings from the lawsuit.

Now, imagine some running back at Big State decides that he's the "Lebanese Liger." Let's say booster Daddy Warbucks decides the tailback deserves some compensation for his services. Why not just print up some Liger shirts and let jurisprudence take its course?

Have fun with that one, Mark Emmert.

UPDATE: NCAA guru John Infante is throwing cold water on the idea.