It looks like South Carolina may have its own mess surrounding a player selling his autograph.
And this time the player in question is the presumptive No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft, freakish defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Selling your autograph would be a violation of NCAA amateurism rules,
According to sleuthing by an SBNation blog, the same company that has been selling many Johnny Manziel officially authenticated autographs is also selling a ton of Jadeveon Clowney authentically autographed merchandise.
Why does that matter?
Because that consecutive numbering suggests that all the signatures happened in one sitting.
Now, maybe Clowney was signing over 250 consecutive items because he thought the autographs all went to charity. Or maybe he did it because he’s just a nice guy.
Certainly those are plausible arguments I would float if I worked in South Carolina’s compliance office.
But is that believable?
Doesn’t it make more sense that the same companies that are alleged to have paid Manziel for his autograph were trying to do the exact same thing for Jadeveon Clowney, another of the nation’s most popular football stars?
It does to me.
And it probably does to you too.
The certificates of authenticity that accompany these autographs guarantee that the player actually signed the items.
So why was Jadeveon Clowney signing hundreds of items that later ended up for sale on eBay?
He probably thinks it’s ridiculous that everyone else can make money off his autograph but him.
Go search for your favorite college players as well. Just about all of them have officially authenticated autographs for sale on eBay.
Teddy Bridgewater, Braxton Miller, AJ McCarron, basically if you’re a top Heisman contender your officially authenticated autograph is available for purchase online. Now it’s possible all these certificates of authenticity are fake — in which case the companies are subject to criminal prosecution for selling fake goods — but isn’t it also possible that once one player signed he’d pass along the contact information to other top players?
If you’d been offered tens of thousands of dollars to sign autographs while you were in college that would have been pretty tough to turn down too, wouldn’t it?
Good luck compliance offices, you’re all about to be putting in overtime when it comes to your top players.