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.
Other Stars may be caught in Johnny Football's mess.
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@example.com
... 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.