We already knew that Texas A&M was handling the Johnny Manziel autograph scandal seriously, hiring the same lawyers Auburn hired to keep Cam Newton eligible at Auburn. Now we're seeing other schools around college football reacting to make sure their stars don't accidentally make the same missteps Manziel may or may not have made.
USC announced that like Texas A&M, they had also received an NCAA inquiry on autographs, this one about junior wide receiver Marqise Lee. The winner of last year's Biletnikoff Award had also appeared in Miami to be honored at last year's BCS National Championship Game, and signed autographs while there, but USC made it clear that they think he did so without believing they were meant to be sold:
"I believed that the individual who asked me to sign the photos was a fan and collector. I did not ask to be paid, I was not offered anything, I did not get anything and I did not authorize my autographs to be sold."
The release indicates that the school believes no NCAA violation was committed, and sent a cease-and-desist letter asking the person who they say duped Lee to stop selling the player's signature.
Meanwhile, at Louisville, they're keeping any would-be autograph-seekers-turned-autograph-sellers away from Heisman hopeful Teddy Bridgewater. From SB Nation's Mark Ennis, who was at the team's practice:
Anybody asking the players to sign stuff as they leave the field is being shooed away and told to wait for fan day.— Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) August 6, 2013
To be clear, these were three grown men with footballs and crap wanting them signed, not little kids asking for autographs.— Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) August 6, 2013
Louisville not messing around with Teddy. After interviews he got a personal escort off the field from Pat Moorer.— Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) August 6, 2013
As long as players aren't allowed to make money off their own name, schools are going to have to make sure that they don't void their eligibility, whether intentionally or by accident. Both these schools seem to think their players were in danger of doing so, and took steps to prevent the situation A&M is apparently embroiled in.