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August 16, 2013

Hounding Autographs

Filed under: Fans,Football,Money — Chas @ 8:12 am

After the age of 13, I can’t say I’ve cared too much for autographed items. I have a few things tucked away that I have been given or came into. Waiting in line for an autograph, however, let alone the idea of paying money for it. No. It’s just never been a thing for me. To this day the whole concept of the market for signed memorabilia and pictures of players, is a bit odd. Autograph shows blow my mind. I guess like comic books and baseball cards, it is some part of our childhood that some people just do not let go. Just when you get older and have your own money you can spend it on those things.

With that, the whole Johnny Manziel autograph scandal-story (and the issue of his eligibility)  has spooked colleges as the season approaches.

Louisville has forbidden players from signing autographs, replacing its annual event with an open practice. Texas A&M will not allow players to sign anything but specially designed autograph cards.

At West Virginia, officials took no chances last Sunday when players and coaches signed autographs for two hours. The school provided autograph sheets, posters and NCAA compliance handouts outlining regulations prohibiting the sale of items bearing the name of the athletes.

That presumes, though, that the WVU fan is capable of reading.

Even Pitt is watching.

Pitt won’t be especially strict, but officials will keep their eyes open, [senior associate athletic director E.J.] Borghetti said.

“As always, we have certainly encouraged fans to not come with a boatload of items for the sake of other people who want autographs and want to meet our kids,” he said.

“At the same time, we are certainly going to be very cognizant of red flags. If someone shows up with 20 copies of the same image and doesn’t want them personalized, then that obviously suggests it’s not a personal keepsake and perhaps somebody has some other intentions.”

Yeah, um, I don’t think Pitt has as much to worry about before the season with re-selling autographs.





This issue is very sticky and not likely to go away soon, not only because of johnny football and whether giving autographs for money makes you a professional in the eyes of the NCAA and potentially ineligible as a result; but, also in view of the legal actions against the NCAA attempting to obtain $$ for college players vs the schools when players likenesses, clothing, gear (& etc.) with players names/numbers are sold to fans.

Comment by pitt1972 08.16.13 @ 8:34 am

I have an authographed action picture of Josh Lay that I’ll let go for $375.

Comment by wbb 08.16.13 @ 8:35 am

wbb – that was funny as hell! I spit some coffee out on that one.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.16.13 @ 8:43 am

It’s comical that as the NCAA took a stand on this, they were selling merchandise on their website, including a Reggie Bush autographed piece. They were selling #2 aTm jerseys that if you typed “manziel” into their search engine, you found it.

The hypocrisy knows no bounds. You don’t have to pay players, but they’ve earned the right to market their image. You can’t hold exclusive rights over a players personhood. If Johnny Manziel wants to hold autograph sessions, go ahead.

A simple pre-approval process for these things to avoid blatant rule skirting to pay players could avoid a lot of headaches. Manziel wants to hold an autograph session at the mall, get NCAA approval, then sign whatever people want him to sign and if they sell it, so be it.

Comment by Justin 08.16.13 @ 8:54 am

Is it signed “Bernard”?

Comment by ECH 08.16.13 @ 8:54 am

I have a Tony Dorsett autographed napkin. He signed it during the game when he broke the NCAA rushing record against Navy in Annapolis.

Am I in violation of something? Will it be confiscated?

Comment by Frank MD 08.16.13 @ 8:55 am

In my lifetime I have shook hands with Joe Green,Dwight White,Tony Dorsett,Mel Blount,Dave Parker,Al Oliver,Sam Clancy,Steven Adams who had the biggest hand,John Candalaria,Syl Apps and Johny Majors.I never asked any for an autograph and I think the whole practice is pretty stupid.I don’t care if an athlete gets paid to sign his name and don’t think anybody else including the NCAA should either. We don’t need a bunch of rules that can’t be enforced. Does anybody else think that asking and signing autographs is demeaning to both parties?

Comment by spiritofsection 22 08.16.13 @ 9:00 am

The NCAA needs to be taken down. They are out of control. The conferences need to step up.

Not to change the subject..
They posted an interview with Street on the Pitt Panter web site. The players are loving the culture PC is implementing. Street is clearly the team leader.
I really think Bobby Ingram has had a big impact on the receivers. Hope he sticks around the program.
I have also noticed in the player interviews that they often mention how nice it is to play in the same system for two years in a row. I think people under estimate that factor, not just for the starters but the impact it has on player development.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.16.13 @ 9:02 am

The issue over autographs, however, is two-fold. Over and over again in our society we see someone break a law or rule and then watch people cry foul when they are punished. The two different issues are, first, that there is a rule that was knowingly broken. Second, should the rule be changed? But they are two separate issues that shouldn’t be conflated. It may be a terrible rule that needs reviewed and thrown out, but it was a known rule when Manziel broke it. And to claim that the NCAA needs to be taken down and are out of control- they didn’t set this rule up under the cover of darkness last week. These rules are put together and approved by presidents and ADs who then seek the refuge of “the NCAA” so they can complain about rules they helped create. The conferences can’t step up because the conferences are made up of the people who helped make and shape the face of the NCAA as it is anyway. It is like me demanding that my wife make chicken for dinner then I get angry because there is chicken for dinner when I get home from work.

Comment by kanyon40 08.16.13 @ 9:44 am

I’ve asked one pro-athelete for an autograph in my adult life.

I was at Children’s Palace in Monroeville doing some Xmas shopping with my mother in the mid-80s and noticed a very large man in a long coat (kind of like a refrigerator box wearing a coat). I recognized who it was and asked my mom for a pen and paper.

I approached the man while getting in line at the cash register and asked for his autograph. He kind of gave me a look that said ‘Don’t you see my arms full of toys?’. I got a little nervous based on his reputation, but then he put the toys down on the belt, said ‘sure’ and gave me his autograph. I then wished him well in his pro career.

It kills me that I can’t find it today. It probably was tossed during one of the many moves I’ve made through the years.

But I still remember that day and the autograph that was simply:

Craig Ironhead Heyward #34

Comment by pghFred 08.16.13 @ 9:56 am

I don’t think that players should be paid for autographs. It would easily be subject to shady deals, and would provide an additional recruiting advantage to programs with large fan bases. “Don’t go to Vandebuilt kid! Come to Alabama. You’ll play for national championships and you will score big with autograph money”! Not good.

Comment by HbgFrank 08.16.13 @ 10:00 am

kanyon40, I agree to a point.

I noticed that once the NCAA start coming down on the giants — USC, OSU, PSU, Mich, etc …. they starte getting criticized more than ever. The anger is directed towards the NCAA instead of the actual lawbreakers.

However, until a week ago, they would investigate a Manziel autograph signing while at the same time, make money from selling his jersey on their web site.

For a long time, I thought a college scholarship and free room, board, tutoring and healthcare while in school was sufficient for a college student/athlete … but now with millions of profits being realized by soe these schools, I’m for giving some back to the players.

My initial thought is that everyone should be paid the same on a per year basis after they leave school. Thus, someone who stays for 4 years will make more than someoe who leaves after 2 .. this is contingent upon a minimum coursework and GPA.

However, the question now becomes … is this just for football and basketball players (the money sports) or should track, tennis and lacrosse athletes be paid also? And what does this do to Title IX? A whole can of worms will be opened up.

Comment by wbb 08.16.13 @ 10:01 am

Or Vanderbilt!

Comment by HbgFrank 08.16.13 @ 10:01 am

i just loved how espn reported it. “we have breaking news! we have received a photograph of johnny manziel signing autographs”………………………….. well good for you… wheres the proof that he took money from them? as far as im concerned, if they dont have a video of him receiving cash in exchange for a signing or a confession, they dont have squat. i can say i paid him a 20 for an autograph but that doesnt mean anything in a court of law. sadly, this is the court of the ncaa and i get the feeling hell be wrongfully punished. i feel bad for the kid even though he brought most of this on himself. he has maturing to do but he has no privacy and wont have any privacy until hes retired from the nfl.

Comment by pk 08.16.13 @ 10:45 am

ESPN is guiltier than anyone for most of the issues in college sports on so many levels.

Comment by wbb 08.16.13 @ 10:53 am

This is just another nail in the coffin for the NCAA as we know it.

I am not sure how it would or could work but these kids have to start getting paid something. Sure it is going to tilt more power to the bigger schools but you can’t fight the wave of billions of dollars.

We’re a capitalist country..it’s a losing battle trying to stop college sports from following suits considering the amount of money involved.

And yes ESPN is guilty for paying NCAA the TV money, I’m guilty for donating money to school and paying for tickets…and paying ESPN to watch games..everyone on this board is guilty for making college sports as popular as it is so they can charge what they do and make the money they do…none that is going to stop so why fight it.

Comment by milobloom 08.16.13 @ 11:29 am

wbb & kanyon both really nailed the true culprits here.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 08.16.13 @ 11:32 am

I think there is a place for autographs, but signatures on napkins or photographs don’t do it for me. I like autographed books. There, the author made that book and so getting it autographed is more like a stamp of high quality. My bedroom furniture is autographed, on the back, by the guy that built the furniture.
If I caught a home run ball I would like it autographed by the player that hit the ball. But I have no desire to have something unrelated to the person signed. I would much rather get my picture taken with the person than have that person scrawl on a doily with an unrecognizable signature.
For football I would want a football that scored a touchdown, or an actual jersey or helmet worn in a game autographed. Anything else not so much.
On a side note, I went to school with Ironhead, talked to him a couple times. He was a funny guy. I never asked for his autograph. RIP Ironhead!

Comment by Caw Miller 08.16.13 @ 12:16 pm

I agree with Chas on some peoples’ fascination with sighed autograph’s & memorabilia.

I will be paying $10 for George Rogers autograph at next weeks county Gamecock club meeting. (Yes that George Rogers.) He’s a spokesman for the athletic department & is raising money for his foundation. I’ll probably lose it over time or give it to a begging grandchild (who will lose it by the time I get out of sight.)

I would keep it if there was even a slight chance that I could get Hugh Green signature.

BTW – the only autograph i have ever asked for was by Pirate great Pie Traynor’s autograph at my catholic grade school football banquet. It was on a paper pie plate.

Frank Martin (Gamecock basketball coach) is the headline speaker. Martin is very active & expressive during games. Should I ask if he considers himself as over controlling as Jamie Dixon?

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 08.16.13 @ 12:18 pm

The large money and media coverage has made the rich get richer. We all know how much more the SEC and B10 make compared to the other conferences. In addition, ESPN and sports internet sites talk about 10% of the teams, 90% of the time. They know that the Bamas, OSUs, Oklahomas, etc draw in the viewers, and of course the web sites know how to attract the hits with the title teases on their web site.

(Luckily, Chas is not guilty of this or every other story he posted these last 2 falls would have had the word Tino in the title.)

You will note that the it’s the SEC and B10 who are the biggest proponents of paying athletes .. and I’m sure they’ll do everything possible for NCAA schools who are struggling financially to not be able to compete.

The ultimate ending will be a few select superconferences that will be comprised of 20 to 32 teams … as we all know, in a capitalistic society, the rich are continually looking to get richer.

Comment by wbb 08.16.13 @ 12:19 pm

Today, comic books are written and meant for adults. No reason to let them go, they grew up with us.

Comment by tacocat 08.16.13 @ 12:20 pm

I love autographs! I’m an avid collector of them. My collection includes a wide variety of signatures from my patient clientele usually signed on those little retangular things they call checks.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.16.13 @ 12:24 pm

just another capitalist

Comment by wbb 08.16.13 @ 12:34 pm

How much are Tino autographs going for these days?

Comment by Coach Ditka 08.16.13 @ 12:39 pm

I also have a Coach Haywood and Steve Pederson dual signed toilet seat.

Comment by Coach Ditka 08.16.13 @ 12:45 pm

Doc, when do you have time to actually practice?

Or do you comment during spits?

Comment by steve1 08.16.13 @ 12:55 pm

he knocks out pople with anesthesia, does 10 minutes of work, and charges for 2 hrs

Comment by wbb 08.16.13 @ 1:20 pm

And then gets the autograph he craves.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 08.16.13 @ 1:44 pm

Before Ironhead was Ironhead I remember him getting a few plays as a freshman, that was prior to his suspension. He looked like a young Jim Brown, in style and physique. He gained weight after that and never regained that build. He was among my favorite players ever but I think he could have been considerably better if he wouldn’t have had to sit for that year. I see him smiling in the good Lords huddle ready to bust through the line for about 35 yards before he runs out of steam.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 08.16.13 @ 2:04 pm

Awwwh, I can feel the love! As wbb inferred, have to wait for anesthsia sometimes, patient cancellations happen, lunchtime roles around, you name it, often makes it easy just to check in quickly to spend some quality time with my Pitt blogging brethren between my capitalist crusades of fighting the endless battle against tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Hell to Pyorrhea!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.16.13 @ 2:40 pm

I have Arnold Palmer’s, signed on the day’s tee time sheet just prior to the final round of the 1988 Crestar Classic. It was Arnie’s last PGA win (Sr tour).

I’d never part with it – not even for a Josh Lay autographed picture! It reminds me of a rather pleasant meeting and conversation with him. A surreal experience.

I think its funny that people would pay for this kind of stuff – without the personal interaction, its just some Sharpie ink IMO.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 08.16.13 @ 2:44 pm

When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn getting autographs after a game at Ebbets Field was a way of life.

We would get penny post cards and address them to ourselves and hand the cards to the players as they left the park. Yep, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo, etc, etc. Oh, we would go after the visiting players and even the announcers.

I had post cards from Dizzy Dean, Sal Maglie, Enos “Country” Slaughter, etc. The players, announcers would take some of their spare time to sign the cards and drop them in the mailbox.

So, you ask do you still have the post cards?…heck no, they were sent in to the garbage by my mother with my baseball cards
as junk when I left for college.

A very big OY VEY!!!

Comment by isnore 08.16.13 @ 3:10 pm

Doc, periodontics is like an annuity, correct?

Line your pockets with pockets I say. It’s what make American medicine great.

I much enjoy your input here but probe your own gums, thank you.

Comment by steve1 08.16.13 @ 5:45 pm

Steve1, ask not what your pocket can do for you but rather, ask what you can do for the pocket?

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.16.13 @ 6:02 pm

Doc, floss and a water-pic?

Comment by steve1 08.16.13 @ 6:10 pm

As Coach Chryst would say, “Son, apparently you’ve bought into the program”.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.16.13 @ 6:43 pm

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