Louisville: No Fan Day autographs
The Louisville Cardinals will not allow players to sign autographs at UL's Football Fan Day on Sunday because of a "national problem" of autographed items being sold.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is under review by the NCAA over whether he accepted money for signing autographs, ESPN reported.
Manziel is being investigated for allegedly signing autographs for money before this past January's BCS title game between Alabama and Notre Dame. Such a deal would compromise Manziel's status as an amateur.
Several other players, including Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, have numerous items being sold with the players' autographs by memorabilia dealers.
"I would like to personally apologize to our outstanding fans," Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. "However, because of the national problem of autographed items appearing for sale on eBay and other websites, we have made a proactive decision to hold an open practice for the fans and forgo an autograph session."
"We have monitored the situation closely, and we decided to protect the eligibility of our players and operate under the principle that it is not permissible to accept any type of compensation for their autograph or the sale of memorabilia," Strong said. "I know this will disappoint a lot of our fans, especially the young children who look up to our players, but I strongly feel this is the best decision for our football program."
After it was brought to Louisville's attention last week that Bridgewater had signed items being sold online, the school released a statement that cleared Bridgewater and Louisville.
"We have spoken with Teddy Bridgewater and we are comfortable that no NCAA violations have taken place," Louisville said last week in a statement.
Because Louisville is canceling the autograph session at Football Fan Day, Strong said he will hold another open practice for fans to attend in preparation for its Sept. 1 opener against Ohio.
The University of Miami announced coaches and student-athletes will be available to sign autographs at Saturday's CanesFest, but may only sign the school's official athletic teams posters provided at the event.
Miami said the change in policy was part of the school's commitment to NCAA compliance and in light of recent national news.
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