UF in front of autograph-rules trend

Updated: August 14, 2013, 1:44 PM ET
By Brett McMurphy | ESPN

Saturday marks another fan day for Florida, and once again the Gators will not allow players to sign helmets or other memorabilia items.

This is not something new, though. Florida has had this policy for at least the past 15 years. The Gators are believed to be the nation's only football program that has had this policy since at least the 1990s.

While other schools are reacting to potential NCAA issues relating to players being paid by memorabilia dealers to sign items, Florida has been ahead of the curve.

Florida will allow players to sign autographs only on team posters at the Gators' annual fan day. Florida initially made the decision to limit autographs to team posters because of concerns over memorabilia dealers selling autographed helmets and other items.

"We made the decision some 15 years ago that we wanted to try to limit the risk of potential issues that could arise from our annual fan autograph day," UF senior associate athletic director Jamie McCloskey told ESPN. "The last thing we want to do is to put our student-athletes in a situation where we could have affected their eligibility from an event that we held on our campus.

"It wasn't a very popular decision, but we thought it was the right thing to do."

On Monday, Louisville coach Charlie Strong announced his players would not be allowed to sign any autographs at Sunday's fan day. Miami announced its players would be allowed to sign autographs only on an official team poster provided by the school at Saturday's CaneFest.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is under review by the NCAA over whether he accepted money for signing autographs, ESPN has 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 high-profile players, including Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, have come under scrutiny over items being sold with the players' autographs by online memorabilia dealers.

Brett McMurphy | email

College football reporter

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


ALSO SEE