John, as I understand it, the NCAA began their investigation based solely on the fact that there were a number of signed items for sale online and had been authenticated in a series. The statements and photos did not come out until Monday. So, I think that what GoodBullHunting.com is saying is that if that is the criteria, large number of items, why only JM and not the others. I hope you are not saying that because the NCAA chose to go after JM and not the others, that then it is OK, because they did not get caught. Even thought I don't agree with the rule, it is the one on the books and should be followed. I guess where I seem to differ with you is that if one has to follow it, all should have to follow it and don't see it as taking someone down by pointing out that they did the same thing.
Bruce Feldman and CBSSports.com checked in with three different Division I head football coaches yesterday to get their feelings about the Johnny Manziel/autograph issue. The one emotion that comes through loud and clear? Fear. The coaches are scared of who’s contacting their players and what they’re offering them.
“I am totally concerned by it,” one coach said. “People tweet at (players) and you know that’s not where it always stops. Maybe they’re in town. ‘Hey, let’s go to dinner… Hey, let me help you.’ There’s all sorts of bad possibilities.”
Consider that reason #436 why coaches should remove their players from Twitter. Folks with bad intentions no longer need a phone number or an email address to contact players. Anyone can tweet at anyone else.
Other forms of social media also make it easy for — let’s say — autograph dealers to reach out to players. According to another coach:
“It would take a five-year-old less than three minutes to find out on Facebook who (a player’s) mother is and he can send her a message. I’m not sure how well some of these 19-year-olds really know the rules. We have them meet with compliance where they hear about point-shaving, gambling and agents, but are they going to really think they’re breaking rules if someone asked them to sign a few pictures for $10 or $20? Honestly, I think half of them would say you can and probably 100% would do it thinking they won’t get caught.
We tell them all the time how things have changed. With Twitter and smart phones, everyone’s a reporter and everybody wants fame. Listen to some of these (autograph brokers) coming forward to talk about Manziel. They said, ‘Oh, he’s a great guy and I don’t wanna get the kid in trouble,’ but they’re talking to reporters and saying, ‘Here’s how you spell my name.’”
One would hope that the amount of coverage the Manziel story has generated might actually help coaches and compliance officials in their attempts to teach players that autographs-for-cash is a major no-no.
Then again, some players might just look at the Manziel situation — especially if nothing comes of it — and decide that they too can sign memorabilia for big cash so long as everyone agrees it never happened. Shhhh.
SIDENOTE – Rather than worrying about Manziel, one Texas A&M website has decided to try and take down South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney. Ya know, ’cause that’ll clear Manziel.
According to GoodBullHunting.com, 258 consecutively-numbered items autographed by Clowney can be found on the internet, many on eBay. A South Carolina official has said that their “compliance folks are aware of it” but that there hasn’t been an “indication that there’s been a violation.” Yet.
This of course is a product of the all-too-common, “Well, what about him?” reaction from fans. “If someone accuses my guy of cheating, I’ll accuse somebody else’s guy of cheating.” It won’t in any way protect or clear the first player, but if you can reach out and hurt somebody else… go for it!
How many Auburn and Alabama fans are currently scouring the internet for dirt on their rivals right this instant?