How much is too much as it pertains to an amateur athlete autographing memorabilia in exchange for benefits?
The NCAA would argue one autograph is too many in that scenario.
What about 2,000 or more pieces?
ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell reported more than 2,000 signatures by Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston were authenticated by the James Spence Authentication website.
Florida State University is currently looking into a “possible code of conduct violation.” The NCAA hasn’t stepped in…yet.
Upon news of the latest Winston scandal, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher was adamant in his response.
“Kids sign things all the time. So, what do you want them to do, stop signing stuff? We could make them not have any fans from that standpoint and not sign for anybody. That’s what it’s going to come to, and that’s a shame for college football, that somebody exploits a kid. Now, if they’re getting paid for it, then I don’t have any knowledge of that. I don’t believe Jameis did.”
The argument against Fisher’s claim is the pieces are sequentially ordered despite the large amount, which suggests they were received at the same time from one signing.
At least one expert, Matt Powers of Powers Collectibles in Kansas City, told Rovell that it would be nearly impossible for Winston to sign this many autographs in a public setting. Instead, Powers implicated the collection may have originated from a private signing or forged versions.
“No one who is not a dealer is going to submit that many autographs at one time. But besides the number, the giveaway of the JSA authenticated items that you can see on eBay, that suggests it was a sit-down signing, as the consistency of autograph, the cleanliness of the autograph and the fact that the autograph is signed in the perfect place over and over.
“Jameis might have signed a lot of autographs, but when he is doing so in public, he’s not 100 percent focused. Someone might be chatting with him, he might be signing with different pens on different surfaces like on someone’s hand or shoulder. What’s out there being sold is just too good.”
Florida State’s compliance department is still looking into the allegations.