Johnny Manziel is currently under NCAA investigation to determine if he took money in exchange for autographs. Johnny Football may be the most polarizing figure in college athletics, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only one whose autographs are being sold.
Busted Coverage did a bit of poking around on eBay and determined that one of the memorabilia dealers, the_hub_collectibles, who is selling 19 items that were autographed by Manziel on eBay is also selling 19 items that were signed by South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and 11 that were signed by Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. All of the items are PSA/DNA certified and include a photo of a certificate of authenticity along with them.
But that’s not all. According to Good Bull Hunting, a company called JSA that provides sports memorabilia authentication services provided authenticity certificates for a string of 258 consecutive items that were autographed by Clowney. There is a similar string of 119 items, which begins right after Clowney’s stretch of certificates, signed by South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore. Does that imply that all of the items were signed at once and handed over to a broker?
Signing autographs is not illegal. I could go to a South Carolina game and have Clowney sign a stack of 100 photos for me and sell them on eBay, and that would be perfectly legal on his part as long as he didn’t receive any of the profits. The thing that puzzles most people is why an athlete would sign multiple items for some sports memorabilia dealer out of the goodness of their heart.
Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com reported on Wednesday that South Carolina’s compliance department is looking into the autographs. Like with Manziel, they would have a hard time finding the actual money the aforementioned players received to rule them ineligible — if they even did take money. Don’t be surprised if nothing comes of it.
And if you’re interested in my thoughts on the NCAA profiting off its players but not letting them profit off themselves, just read Jay Bilas’ take on the subject. That will about cover it.Google+