College Athletes Aim to Put Price on ‘Priceless’ –

College Athletes Aim to Put Price on ‘Priceless’  College Quaterback, Johnny Manziel Auditions for N.F.L.

 A Victory for Athletes as University Employees


If quarterback Johnny Manziel were an employee of Texas A&M, he would be a bargain.

While university officials readily acknowledge that their star player’s contributions to the university have been “priceless” and “immeasurable,” Johnny Football, as he is known to his fans, probably cost the school about $120,000 in scholarships during the three years that Mr. Manziel, who is now going pro, attended Texas A&M.

When Mr. Manziel sharply lifted the national profile of the Aggies’ football program in 2012 and 2013, donations to the school rose by $300 million from the previous year to $740 million, a record. One study commissioned by the university valued the team’s exposure as Mr. Manziel passed and rushed his way to a Heisman Trophy in the last two months of his first season at $37 million.


As scores of National Football League coaches and scouts lined up in College Station on Thursday to watch Mr. Manziel strut his stuff ahead of the National Football League draft in May, the money and acclaim that he helped the Aggies attract underscore just how big a business college sports has become.

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