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What the Jameis Winston autograph investigation means

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Florida State is being precautionary in its investigation into whether Winston was paid for the autographs he signed.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State will look into autographs signed by Jameis Winston to make sure he was not paid for them, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

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The investigation comes in the wake of star Georgia running back Todd Gurley's indefinite suspension for allegedly being paid for autographs. While the Winston autographs are traced to the same authenticator, this report is not necessarily coming from the same person who attempted to turn in Gurley.

Unlike the Gurley situation, there has been no allegation that Winston was paid for the autographs. An authenticator is not a dealer, or someone who would have paid Winston for the autographs. The suspicion comes from the fact there are so many autographs from Winston and they are all from the same authenticator. Theoretically, someone could have paid Winston for a bulk order of autographs and brought them all to the same authenticator.

Stop chasing scandals

This kind of investigation is not new for college athletic departments and it may just be precautionary. Last year, several schools investigated potential autograph issues with Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney, Tajh Boyd, Teddy Bridgewater and Braxton Miller. Like Winston, Clowney had a high number of autographs authenticated by JSA (the authenticator in question with Winston), but the school found no evidence of wrong-doing on Clowney's part.

Unrelated to this investigation, Winston's eligibility could potentially be in jeopardy when he faces a code of conduct hearing that is the result of a sexual assault accusation from December 2012. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday he is not worried about the outcome of that hearing. Winston's attorney made an appearance on ESPN's Outside the Lines Monday to discuss the assault investigation and the process going forward. Tomahawk Nation has the full video and transcript of the interview.