Taylor Lewan is also mentioned as one of the college stars connected to this memorabilia broker.
I hope this won't blow smoke from the Manziel tire fire towards Ann Arbor.
Taylor Lewan is also mentioned as one of the college stars connected to this memorabilia broker.
I hope this won't blow smoke from the Manziel tire fire towards Ann Arbor.
I can tell you first hand, Lewan is not guilty. The guy is very stern to those that ask for his autograph... Hoke has almost all his players on the 'no signing' policy... I know former wolverines under the rich-rod regime that did however partake in something similar.
I ran into "graphers" asking Lewan for an autograph this past Spring and he was very "mean" to them, in their terms... He wouldn't sign and pulled the other linemen he was with with him away from them. I wouldn't see Lewan or Clowney being guilty. I could see Bridgewater and I have seen Braxton take 'gifts' before
I have seen Braxton take 'gifts' before
The security team from a bar I used to work at got absolutely REAMED because the owner found out that Braxton Miller was allowed in - as a recruit. He showed up with Pryor, Stoneburner, and a couple other guys. Those security guards got their ass chewed for the better part of 20 minutes over that one.
Like I stated elsewhere in this thread, I have good friends who do this line of work and I have seen Braxton as a freshmen (before Urban got to ohio) take $5 dollar bills and $10 dollar bills per autograph, depending on item. I have no evidence, so it's basically my word. The athletes FLIP if you have your phone, camera, etc. out... they are THAT paranoid.
Word now is that depending on item, it's a "what will you do for me?" scenario. I haven't seen anything like this since then regarding ohio. But I can tell you, Lewan does NOT do it for money. He barely signs anything at all.
I just now saw your later comments - thank you for the clarification. Wasn't sure if you were being sarcastic, snarky, or had actual experience.
Now that I know you experienced his transgressions first-hand, I say screw Miller...snap a photo...and send it to Muschamp! I think he might have a score to settle!
It was more of a hindsight thing; I really didn't expect to see any football players as it was at a Michigan ohio hockey game in columbus- In January.
Wow that seems so out of character for Lewan, although I'm sure that's what everyone is saying about their guys on the list too (except Texas A&M). I just don't see it with him though. If he wanted to get paid why not hop to the NFL last year where he was sure to be a top 15 pick?
Fortunately it looks like there's only 2 helmets from Lewan in there (and there's 1 or 2 in there from a lot of people). I kind of hate to see Lewan's name anywhere near this, but his (and the other guys') 2 signatures looks a good bit less suspicious than the other guys 10-15+
that Lewan's signature was forged or possibly copied from something else found and reproduced without his knowledge or permission?
but its not a problem if some guy gets Lewans autograph, then sells it on ebay. Its only an issue if Lewan was getting compensated for it. So even if this guy sold Lewan signatures, I don't think thats automatically a problem.
but I think that ANYthing there with Lewan's name on it will raise suspicion of his involvement or an accusation that he may have sold something with his signature on it. For one, I don't believe a word of it. Taylor is too smart, imo, to get mixed up in this.
That was my thinking as well. The issue wasn't Manziel signing things; it was that he purportedly received $7,500 from the collector.
But yeah, not good news for anyone involved. Would like to know the context, since he only had 2 objects.
It's not so much that it's not good news for those involved. While it is technically against NCAA rules, if this goes as deep as it seems on the surface, the NCAA would lose all credibility if they banished all of these players.
This is the same NCAA that generates revenue from selling jerseys and the like with players' numbers on them. To then go and tell the players they can't sell their own signature because it violates amateurism rules is pure hypicrosy. The NCAA is going down if this goes beyond Manziel. I'm not saying it's OK to do something against the rules; it's not. But you are essentially allowing the NCAA to take revenue that would otherwise go to the players. Exploitation at its finest, imo.
but the likely example from the guy on eBay is that he got players to sign stuff for free by acting (or paying someone to act) like a fan or buying items from fans that had them signed and then reselling on eBay.
Before Hoke got here, the team signed more. Once Hoke arrived, the only time he really let the team sign was during that get-together at The Big House where fans come in. Hoke specifically tells all the kids, ESPECIALLY recruits not to sign. Perfect example: Shane Morris. Used to sign all the time as a Senior in HS, however in about January (when he started frequenting trips to A2, he stopped signing, or at least stopped signing a lot.)
^ This is all information I have gathered from my buddies who do this line of work for a living, so take it for what it's worth.
This is all hearsay and conjecture, there is absolutely no evidence with which to accuse these fine gentleman, nothing to see here, move along.
Hearsay and conjecture? Those are kinds of evidence.
Just saw on espn.com that Cam Newton is giving Johnny Football advice on the spotlight
"Yo Johnny, you gotta make your dad take all the money. That's how you get away with it kid!"
That Newton guy had it all figured out.
If my understanding is correct, it's not the autograph that's the issue. The problem is that he charged for them. Just having some autographs available from this guy does next to nothing to implicate the guys in the OP in some kind of wrong doing. I wouldn't think too much about more players being involved until we hear some more convincing evidence.
If my understanding is correct, it's not the autograph that's the issue. The problem is that he charged for them.
There are two levels of "problem" with this issue of autographs and college players:
#1 is pretty cut-and-dry provided the evidence is there to support.
#2 is what Hoke's "no sign" policy would be about ... if having a lot of Michigan player autographs floating around on e-Bay creates the appearance of potential issues, then don't sign autographs. Eliminate the source for potential team and university embarrassment.
It's a sorry thing that kids seeking autographs from their heroes have to be denied for reasons such as this. But such is our crazy, mixed-up world.
I don't know what to make of Hoke's no-autograph policy.
Re OSU, how does that go again - everybody that ain't come to play school murders the respect for women, or some shit like that....?
They do as much as possible. But once players get out in public, they still do it. My best friend owns a company that gathers signatures termed as 'graphs' from players. He told me that most, if not all, ohio players still sign for money. He was a part of the Manziel scandal and said that Manziel would sign for 15 minutes for a grand... Take it for what it's worth... Braxton on the other hand isn't as bad, only requiring a couple hundred to sign items
Look, there is no violation to give away an autograph. Only to charge for it. Literally every big star out there you can find an autograph out there for; many of them. A lot of these autograph sharks go to those MDen type signing things or send kids to get autographs and then sell them.
Autographing isn't the crime- it's charging ($1,000 for 15 min-Manziel, and $300-400 for 10 autographs- Braxton)
Pretty lofty allegations there.
Your creepy best friend who chases after college kids to make money off their signatures told you this?
THis information came from a guy who is not my friend, I actually rather dispise the guy. but he drove to texas and he himself paid Manziel for 15 minutes (he claims) to sign about 20-25 items that include full size replica helmets, Jerseys, and Footballs.
My buddy mostly does (pro) hockey and (Pro) baseball because there's more money (quantity) in it. So he mostly follows pro teams... He still does College Football in the early part of the season when Baseball dies down (playoffs) and hockey has yet to begin. I have seen Braxton Miller take small amounts of money when he was a freshmen, so I do believe this guy when he says that Braxton takes hundreds now.
relate a story about them waiting for him outside Schembechler at night?
This happened to Denard I think in his sophomore season (perhaps junior) - I personally know this guy who did that stalking, unfortuneately went to high school with him. He used to spend hours outside schembechler to get Denard either coming or going...
It was John U. Bacon, in the chapter of 3&O where he follows Denard for a day (p. 360, for those of you following at home).
At 10:34, they finally walked out of Schembechler Hall for the last time that day. Normally they would be coming out of the Academic Center, but somehow two middle-aged men carrying a stack of glossy photos figured out where they were and approached Robinson the moment he walked outside to sign their photos of him. It was all for charity, of course, or their ten-year-old kids—they claimed both at various times—so Robinson autographed one each, then said, "That's it, man," and got into Gardner's pickup.
So I don't think the presence of 2 Lewan items, or even a dozen Braxton Miller items, really means all that much.
I personally know one of them; like I said, I went to high school with and the other is his buddy. They literally have no lives, they would stalk Denard and have him sign Blank pieces of white glossy paper that they would then take and print a photo on.
Just two weeks ago at the Big Ten Media Days Kickoff Luncheon, they had about an hour before the actual event where each team had a booth with the players/coach and attending fans could line up to meet/talk/get autographs from them. It was a cool way to meet some of the players and get a quick autograph and also be in the same room with player representatives and coaches of all of the other Big Ten teams.
It was hard not to notice a pair of guys who clearly weren't fans of any of the schools, but were rather shamelessly lugging around 3 or 4 large duffel bags filled with gear from different Big Ten teams and collecting autographs. It was apparent they were pro's at this with their system they had set up and in a packed hotel lobby they weren't concerned with how many kids/fans they were bumping into with their large bags.
Numerous people made comments to each other and it did cast a "shady" shadow on an otherwise great event, but it was clear these guys are everywhere. While most kids/fans were just getting something signed for their personal collection, guys like the two mentioned are probably at every event with access to players/coaches (that are open to the public, my guess is these two simply bought tickets to the event) and the players/coaches doing the signing have no way of telling what the persons intentions are with the autograph, they're just trying to make a fans day and aren't being compensated in any way.
This isn't evidence of anything other than that someone (possibly the player) has written on memorabilia. I feel dirty giving that guy's website a hit.
Im going to say that Lewan passed up millions. So, because his name is listed I would assume that he is not selling autographs and its a coincidence. I would also like to say that any of these players listed could be targeted by brokers who attend the Fan Day events yearly at diferent schools. This is obviously the reason it is now labeled "youth Day". We need to do whatever it takes to detour these people from trying to get an autograph so that they can sell it off. Honestly I believe that if there are no pics or vids of Lewan signing autographs with stacks of cash next to him in the vid or pic, the allegations of his involvement in this mess are irrelevent.
I can only blame Urban Meyer for Miller's name showing up.
I've personally paid Braxton Miller $20,000 to sign mini-footballs for me. Was that wrong?
Only if you didn't blow that 20k on tattoos.
including video, signed confessions from Miller, and receipts in triplicate.
who generates them gets paid while that athlete still has eligibility. The mere connection of an athlete's name on an article of clothing or football doesn't condemn the player. There would have to be evidence of payment for that service.
And here's the major rub: You have ESPN which pays huge rights fees to the conferences for games, promotes college athlete images and personalities as if they are pros, and then conducts investigative reports to determine if athletes are in violation of the image breaking for compensation that ESPN shamlessly promotes for its own ratings and circulation benefit. I mean it has no problem putting Manziel's picture on the cover of its magazine or talking about his off-the-filed actiivities all day long even though the kid is in his sophomore year of college.
If he isn't a pro, quit treating him like one and then pretend to act as if he isn't when it suits whatever storyline tops your news agenda that day.
Maybe you're confused about the term, "illegal." None of these athletes are getting arrested for this unless there was some serious tax fraud.
Johnny Manziel is'nt guilty of anything if he didn't take any cash, I shouldn't think He'd be guilty if he made an arrangement to be paid by these "Brokers" after he exhausted his eligibility/declared for the NFL Draft. That's JMHO.
Especially if you had Braxton sign a picture of Frank Clark smacking him with the word "ARMPUNT" on it.
paid Manziel? The fact that these low-lifes hound college students for their autographs is hardly new. I don't condone athletes signing for money under the present agreement, but I have a hard time believing this guy is talking from his need to clear his conscience. I would love to see him answering to a couple of attorneys. What is the potential for damage to the value of Lewan's first contract, just as one example?
Double Post. Sry
The ESPN article stated that the broker was trying to get ESPN to pay him for the video of Manziel signing autographs. The video did not show any money exchanging hands btw. A cleared conscience was not the motive here.
I have no doubt that Lewan and the rest of the Michigan players have not recieved money for graphs. I also wouldn't be shocked if there has been a culture of money for graphs at Ohio. I mean, it wasn't too long ago that they were giving players cars, extra gear, tatoos and who knows what else. This instance they would just have to look away and allow it to happen. I hope this whole thing blows up big and the NCAA comes down on the kids who charged for their graph. Unfortunatley, we all know that nothing will happen because the NCAA is a broken homelss guy right now.
You have "no doubt" that Michigan players are innocent. Um, okay. If you know that, fine. Indeed, I see others have already commented that the existence of Taylor Lewan autographed helmets (the helmet part is a bit odd, but not necessarily suspicious) is absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing under NCAA rules. I agree.
Next, you "wouldn't be shocked" if they were guilty in Columbus. I see what you did there. Your non-shock = guilt.
"They were giving players cars, extra gear, tatoos [sic] and who knows what else..." If by that you meant that The Ohio State University was handing out all of that stuff, you are unquestionably wrong. Well, not completely; OSU football players did indeed get "stuff" from the football program, just like our football program shovels out loads of cool stuff to our players. Jerseys, bags, warmups, shoes, trinkets, etc., etc. All legally.
The Ohio State players in tat-gate unquestionably bought/traded for their own tattoos. With stuff that they got legally. But which they were prohibited from selling under NCAA rules. Personally, I think the whole tattoo world is a bit crazy-freakish. But that's just me. It certainly seemed okay enough to Taylor Lewan:
No one at Ohio State was ever accused of "giving players cars..." Terrelle Pryor drove an old car that his mom unquestionably bought for him. And he got, on his own, a variety of suspicious loaners from somebody who had little if any contact with OSU; a private guy in Columbus.
Ohio State may not have given out cars, but they may have been involved in orchestrating deals through local dealers. There was an investigation into OSU players buying cars from two particular Columbus dealers. There were 40 to 50 players or family members over 5 or 6 years according to this article. A little tidbit from the article:
Public records show that in 2009, a 2-year-old Chrysler 300 with less than 20,000 miles was titled to then-sophomore linebacker Thaddeus Gibson. Documents show the purchase price as $0. Mauk could not explain it.
"I don't give cars for free," he said. Gibson said he was unaware the title on his car showed zero as the sales price. "I paid for the car, and I'm still paying for it," he said, declining to answer further questions.
At the MDen signing a few weeks ago DG was there hanging out. And he declined every request we had for an autograph. He wasn't going to be paid by us for the autograph, but even him being at a sponsored event with the other guys (pros) meant he couldn't sign at all. Point is, DG is very aware if the circumstances and I am sure his teammates are as well.
It's when they are mass-merchandized by brokers to take advantage of a certain player's status and image that the issue of compensation becomes murky.
This was never a real problem except for the last couple of decades and it has grown in connection with technology changes and the growth of online marketing. It has become big business. And the schools and NCAA are clearly profiting at players' expense. Arguing that by paying student-athletes to attend school and housing doesn't cut it when you are creating multiple revenue streams and millions from their ongoing appearance and success.
I mean the memorabilia brokers see the issue more clearly than anyone else. At least their motives are clearer than anyone else in the arena. They just want to make money and aren't adverse to giving athletes their due.
Whether legal or not, players can see this. And this profiting is patently unfair. Whether you claim you are upholding a certain protected standard, than why are you promoting certain athletes and their images in connection with ticket sales and school apparel?
Salesmen are paid commissions. Rights fees are paid based on continuing sales of product generated by the original source whether a writer, a patent holder or product or a patent holder. It's only fair, right?
the issue of compensation is not at all murky. You keep using the word legal in this thread, too. Are you confused?
So your best friend is a slimeball. Nice company you keep there.
Edit: This was supposed to be in response to Sideline.
I wouldn't say my friend is, but the people he does this with certainly are. The guy I know, like I've stated before, primarily does Pro Teams, and he gets items for local stores in the area too. Ever wonder how local FanZone's and stores like that get their signed product? Here it is. So if that's slimeball, then yes, yes he is.
If the NCAA tried to suspend all those players, with everything else being discussed right now amongst the BCS conferences, that act might become the NCAA's Waterloo moment.
The fact that it's Manziel actually makes it easier for the NCAA. Manziel is crazy rich (well his family actually). This isn't a kid from poverty who has to scrape his way through college like other poor kids and doesn't have the time for another job because of sports. I forget which national writer type guy said this, but Manziel didn't charge because he needs money. He charged because he wants money. A rich kid with a personal assistant does not make for a sympathetic icon. Most people at this point probably see him as a spoiled brat.
I agree. If it's Manziel by himself, given the bad name Manziel has developed for himself over the summer, I think the NCAA could suspend him alone and be fine. But if they start going after Bridgewater, Braxton Miller, and others, then I think it's over for the NCAA. And they likely know that--could be a reason Manziel is the (apparent) singular focus of the investigation.
Taking a broader view, ever since the USC penatly the NCAA has been treading very lightly with respect to the penalties it imposes on its high-profile member organizations. Ohio St, Miami, and Oregon all got off with lesser penalties than I would have expected given the USC judgment. The only program to be sanctioned heavily was Penn St, b/c that's the only time public perception was in the corner of the NCAA. I don't think that's a coincidence.
I guess I'm just glad that the NCAA's rules prohibiting players from profiting off of their autographs helps put money in the pocket of super-not-shady-you-guys-not-shady-at-all autograph "brokers." Those guys do the Lord's work, am I right?
But is under the table, unregulated cash payments really the way to solve the problem? Plus, kids don't have to sign any autographs at all. It's not the same argument about the NCAA using players to make money. You don't want slimy brokers making money off you? Then don't sign autographs.
How about regulated, deferred-income-until-eligibility-expires cash payments for autographs?
And look -- I'm an anti-autograph guy, so as to your second point, fine by me. But let's not pretend that players wouldn't be effing skewered if they regularly declined to give autographs in informal settings. Beyond that, schools typically encourage giving out autographs (not getting paid for them, obviously) -- having a market full of autographed player swag helps feed the fame cycle for the player to the benefit of the team.
But in any event -- the status quo is a joke.
As for "just don't sign" - here is some insight into these super awesome autograph brokers when you don't help them make money off of you.
am making this an upost.
They do not have subpoena power, and the Swag salesman said he will not cooperate.
Add to the fact that they seldom act with swiftness (save Penn State), this is a non-issue to me.
Lewan sits around for a couple hours every year signing things at every Fan Day, doesn't he? Those items easily make there way to Ebay
The idea that someone like Lewan who passed on millions of dollars to stay in school would risk his eligibility to sell a couple signed memorabilia is laughable
Braxton is clean. Gene Smith says so: http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2013/08/ohio_state_checks_on_brax...
Good thing he did a nice, thorough investigation.
Braxton Miller autograph: 36
Johnny Manziel autograph: 94
Jadeveon Clowney autograph: 42
Teddy Bridgewater autograph: 37
Taylor Lewan autograph: 3
Does anyone see a pattern here?
I see a pattern of players 1-4 are household names and Lewan may be the best lineman in the country, but certainly does not have the popularity of the other 4.
I think the pattern is that it's much easier for a broker to get three free autographs (or autographed items) from a guy than 30, 40 or 90. Those high numbers scream of "pencil-whipping" a bunch of gear all at once. Three items could very well have been collected by only one or two guys at some M-Den day
These numbers are not from just one broker. The poster simply typed each player's name into Ebay. Go ahead and try it yourself.
Is a household name?
Just type in "Taylor Lewan" and you get a lot more than just 3 things signed.
I see a lot of stuff on here like: there is no way that Lewan did this for money, it's not like him, he could have made millions last year if he went pro, etc. And I know it is easy to make fun of a Buckeye and say no doubt that Braxton did do this. But as an OSU fan, we hold Braxton in the same regard as it seems like UM holds Lewan. He is avoids attention and every single report that comes out of the locker room states he is the most humble guy on the team. I am not saying that anyone of these athletes is innocent but I wanted to share a little perspective from an OSU fan. Also, Busted Coverage is reporting that this broker has 258(!!!!) consecutively signed Clowney items and only have 4 Miller items. I am pretty sure I could go get 4 autographs from Miller if I really wanted to, just saying, and I think Lewan is in the same boat.
That is the biggest issue IMO. The number of consecutively signed stuff. It makes it obvious that a brooker had a player sit and sign for however long to sign that many items. If Miller only has 4 things, and Lewan 2*, I don't think they can be held in the same light as the other players.**
*I never confirmed these number for myself, just going off other comments.
**I am not implying guilt for any of the players, including Manziel. It's just 258 seems more suspicious than 4...
Please, for the love of all that is good and decent in this world, let this ring true with Braxton Miller.
Hate to rain on your parade, but the part that really matters is the payment. That's the violation. I'd imagine payments are made in cash- so that's very hard to prove.
You'd think if Lewan was this money hungry then he'd have gone pro last year. I doubt he's guilty.
I'm seeing a lot of misunderstanding regarding this "scandal". As an autograph collector myself, hopefully I can clarify some things.
People seem to think that since these autographs are certified by PSA/DNA or JSA (third party authenticators), it makes it look like it was signed in a business like atmosphere. In reality, it only means that these items were mailed to the authenticator and were deemed "most likely authentic". I could send in an autograph I got myself in an atmosphere like Fan Day to PSA and get it autheticated too.
Also, just because a seller is selling an autograph of an athlete, it doesn't make that the athlete guilty at all of taking money. Believe it or not, there are people who travel to hotels to practice facilities with the sole purpose of getting autographs. It is their business and life. Looking at this particular seller's items, it is very possible that this guy got these autographs in Chicago during Big Ten Media Day/Week, which Lewan was part of. Just because he has Lewan's autograph, doesn't mean that it was obtained "illegally" in the eyes of the NCAA. I do believe he obtained Manziel's autographs by paying him, but it doesn't mean he payed all the players for their autographs.
Before this stuff came up with Manziel, I had heard rumors about him taking money to do a signing. I have also heard Clowney's name come up too. But I've never heard this happening with Michigan players. And to be perfectly honest, no matter how good an offensive lineman is, they do not sell well. I just don't see a promoter wasting money on a guy like Lewan, compared to star QB's and a hot prospect like Clowney who will sell for hundreds of dollars.
I saw a guy sending kids to get autographs in the parking lot at a Spring game. The kids would get the autograph and bring it straight to the adult who would then give the kid something else to sign. I have no doubt the autographs were on eBay within an hour.
...did not take $ for autographs....but he said Braxton Miller did.
will he cooperate with the NCAA?
I don't get why Johnny would take this chance, since he comes from a rich oil family. Is he just dumb, an egomaniac, or doing what others are getting away with because the NCAA is incompetent.
The article over at Good Bull Hunting (LINK) outlines some research that was done into the James Spence Authentication service as many authenticated items will have a photo of the certifying letter as well. Some of the findings include:
"To see if there was a consecutive sequence of Clowney items, I started plugging in other nearby numbers. The series of 153 JSA Certificates from I57600 - I57752 contains only Clowney autographed items including jerseys, full-sized helmets, mini-helmets, magazines, and more. Interestingly, the next number in the sequence begins a series of autographed items from South Carolina teammate Marcus Lattimore. Items autographed by Lattimore make up the 119-item sequence from I57751- I57869."
I have football tickets for sale, I can sell them as a package or I can sell them individually.
Please email me with offers at [email protected]
... Signed a bunch of stuff at an event, and saw it show up for sale.
Unless one of the athletes was paid for their signature while they had eligibility, there's no NCAA violation.
Here you go. Definitive proof:
Actually, this is probably a nonstory for OSU, but that feels like a half-assed inquiry from a school on probation for the same damn thing.
What's funny about this, is Miller is going to say he never signed anything in some instance and a JSA certification is going to catch him in a lie. I like ohio's half ass cover ups.
I really, really hope this site never becomes a place for people to dump hack media reports. This turned out to be a big, fat nothing. I hope we can stay above garbage reporting and be a bit more patient, waiting for the facts to come out.
While I have no problem with people on the board speculating, linking us to bogus sites gets those media outlets paid, and that's a bad, bad thing.