While an autograph broker is claiming he paid Johnny Manziel $US7,500 to sign hundreds of items, new information has emerged that shows other top college football players also signed hundreds of items for autograph dealers, including Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina.
Clowney, who is projected to be the top pick in next year’s NFL Draft, recently had more than 200 autographed items authenticated by JSA, a company that specialises in authenticating autographs, according to GoodBullHunting.com.
Many of those items are now for sale, or were recently for sale, on eBay.
Further digging shows that 258 consecutive JSA authenticated items are Clowney autographed material which suggests that the items were all submitted at the same time and by the same person.
South Carolina said today that no NCAA violation has taken place.
But this is the same pattern shown for the Manziel items. According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, an autograph authentication company authenticated 999 Manziel items in a row.
Another autograph dealer has more than 500 autographed items for sale on eBay, including 19 items signed by Manziel and 19 items signed by Clowney according to BustedCoverage.com. These items have all been authenticated and most show similar autograph patterns (e.g. location on the helmet) suggesting they were all signed in a single session.
BustedCoverage.com also found similar items signed by Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Braxton Miller of Ohio State.
Both Louisville and Ohio State also said today that no violation took place with their players’ autographs.
Of course, none of this means the players were paid to sign the items. There are endless plausible scenarios that could explain why the players signed this many items without being paid (e.g. maybe they were told the items were for sick children).
But at the very least, this amount of bulk autographs showing up for sale on eBay looks bad for both the player and the school. Even if you think players should be able to sell their autographs, the fact is, it is currently against the rules. And if it turns out they were paid, the NCAA will likely rule that the players are ineligible to play.
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