Many of the NCAA’s biggest athletes are currently under fire. After news broke several days ago that Johnny Manziel was being investigated for allegedly profiting off of autographs that he signed before the BCS National Championship Game down in Miami, people began to take notice of other athletes doing signings as well.
It’s easy to find lots of signed memorabilia on eBay, but things get more suspicious when big-time athletes have hundreds of signed pieces being sold by the same vendors. Not only is Johnny Manziel stuff being sold in large quantities, but other Heisman candidates such as Jadeveon Clowney and Teddy Bridgewater have lots of signatures spreading like wildfire.
Last night, USC became the first school to come out and acknowledge that Marqise Lee did signings while in Miami — however, the school investigated them and he received no compensation for doing so. Ohio State took the same approach with memorabilia signed by Braxton Miller.
This afternoon, South Carolina reported the same thing — Clowney did sign a large number of items, but no wrongdoing occurred. The school released a statement via GoGamecocks.com:
“We have investigated things that have been on eBay with him and student-athletes before,” associate athletics director Chris Rogers said. “In the situations I can say we looked into, there was no further for us to go, and we determined there was no violation.”
More, from head coach Steve Spurrier:
“There is a lot of stuff out there with Marcus (Lattimore) and Jadeveon, but as far as I know and I really believe Jadeveon has never accepted anything for signing anything.”
It will be interesting to see if Texas A&M follows suit and defends Manziel — it is notable that while the school has refused comment while the investigation is ongoing, there has been no outright refusal or denial from the Manziel camp. This story isn’t going away any time soon.