Not too surprisingly, the NCAA has shut down what’s been called the Manziel loophole by telling Texas A & M it would consider an intentional copyright violation for the purposes of funneling money to a player to be a violation.
You can be skeptical about how much effect that would have on a booster and a student-athlete testing the system. However, I think this is the part that makes such a scheme more unlikely to succeed:
Hinckley said the Johnny Football phenomenon has been a learning experience on the business and legal side. He calls the situation a “three-headed monster” involving Manziel’s likeness, his intellectual property rights and the intellectual property rights of Texas A&M. Hinckley said about 20 percent of the unlicensed Johnny Football merchandise he’s seen has also infringed upon Texas A&M’s marks. Texas A&M is not allowed to market merchandise bearing Manziel’s name or nickname. It is allowed to sell his No. 2 jersey with no name attached. Still, even if Texas A&M’s marks are not used by a Johnny Football merchandise seller, Hinckley said any use of the school colors (maroon and white) could be considered a violation of the school’s intellectual property rights based on the 2009 ruling in favor of LSU against Florida-based T-shirt maker Smack Apparel.
It’s hard to see how a school would be willing to take part in such an arrangement, because in addition to risking the wrath of the NCAA if it’s caught, it’s also risking its own intellectual property rights by tolerating that. There simply isn’t enough money in t-shirts to make that worthwhile. Particularly when the money isn’t even flowing to the school for its trouble.