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Richt, DE Smith Disagree Over Autograph Kerfuffle

stock-footage-hand-signing-a-contract-in-black-ink-signature-is-fake-detailWith Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel under the NCAA microscope because he allegedly received money for his autograph, a larger debate has popped up: Should players be allowed to make money off their signatures?

In Athens, senior defensive end Garrison Smith has one view while his head coach, Mark Richt, takes another:


“You should be able to make yourself some money.  You can’t have a job because of your football schedule, and school life is so busy.  So you need some kind of way to get some income…

So if you can get something and get some money off a simple signature, why not?  What’s so bad about a signature?  How are you hurting somebody by just signing something?  Some of the people you’re signing for are putting your signature on eBay.  So they’re making money off of you, so why is it wrong for you to make some money off yourself?  People have got families.  A lot of players I know have kids.  How are you gonna get your kids some diapers?  How are you gonna get your kids some baby food if you don’t have money?”

– Smith


“I just don’t know how it could all work where it didn’t become so hard to manage.  If you just said, ‘OK, everybody can sell their stuff,’ you can just imagine yourself what that might turn into and how problematic it could become.”

– Richt


Richt, his fellow coaches, and the SEC office are pushing the NCAA for the right to provide players with a couple of extra thousand dollars per year as part of full-cost-of-tuition scholarships.  The other BCS-level conferences are pushing for the same thing and eventually this will lead to a new subdivision at the tip top of Division I college football.

For now, allowing athletes to sell their signatures is not the answer.  We’ve touched on topic before so we’ll keep it short here.

If players were allowed to sell their autographs, cheating boosters would immediately take advantage of the enormous loophole created.  Unscrupulous boosters from rival schools could create a bidding war for a high school player’s services via autographs.

“Come to State and I’ll pay you $10,000 a year for autographed memorabilia.”

“Did he say $10,000?  Come to Tech and I’ll pay you $15,000 a year for signed items.”

And what of agents?  Think an agent looking to get his hooks into a star college player wouldn’t start paying him — legally, mind you — thousands of dollars for autographs?  It would have nothing to do with the signatures.  It would have everything to do with locking up a future NFL star.

Like it or not, so long as the NCAA is based on the amateur model, cash-for-autographs is bad idea.

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SEC Headlines 7/20/2013

headlines-saturdaySEC Football

1. Defending Johnny Manziel – “the grim moralizers have no right to dictate who he is or what he should act like…”

2. AJ McCarron is “the antithesis of the antihero from Texas A&M, reigning Heisman Trophy winner and infamous oversleeper Johnny Manziel.”

3. All-SEC Teams.  One vote for AJ McCarron as quarterback. Here’s one for Johnny Manziel.

4. An endorsement of LSU coach Les Miles – “the most sensible rant this week?” MrSEC takes a different view.

5. Georgia writer and Clemson grad says the Bulldogs lose to Clemson – and then win every other game on the schedule.

6. As one of only four returning starters on Georgia’s defense, Garrison Smith will anchor the Bulldogs defensive line.

7. When it comes to setting the standard, everyone wants to emulate the Alabama model.

8. The great unknown at Tennessee.  Who will be the starting quarterback?

9. The new look at Kentucky?

10. Auburn center Reese Dismukes “has the talent to be one of the league’s top centers and a possible NFL prospect.”

11. Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee on the debate over tempo: “We all play within the rules. I know this: There’s not a lot of 15-play drives…”

12. Auburn would like to name its starting quarterback by the middle of fall camp.

13. Ole Miss has sold nearly 40,000 season tickets.

14. Missouri had the fewest All-SEC selections from the media this week than any team in the conference.


15. Vanderbilt AD David Williams on linebacker Chase Garnham’s decision to join the lawsuit against the NCAA: “We support Chase’s right to join and will not interfere with his right in any way.”

16. With EA Sports and the NCAA parting company, what does that mean for the future of the video game?

17. Another NCAA lawsuit brewing?  Organization could face a class-action over concussions.  NFL currently battling a similar case.

SEC Basketball

18. Former Kentucky player Kyle Wiltjer makes it official: “I’m choosing to transfer to Gonzaga because I feel they have a proven plan in place to help develop players similar to me, which has seen great results.”

19. John Clay on the hypocrisy in college sports – and the vastly different approaches taken under two different Florida basketball coaches.

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Not All UGA Players Thrilled With Williams’ Rant About Defense

We wondered yesterday how the fire-and-brimstone speech from Georgia safety Shawn Williams would go over with his teammates.  We have our answer — not altogether well.

Williams’ rant included shots at fellow players, an overall statement that his fellow defenders were playing “soft,” and the statement that UGA needs Sean Payton as coach to start handing out bounties.

Bulldog players have responded openly since learning of their teammates comments.

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