This past month, two major programs with nationally recognized players are facing serious accusations of signing helmets, jerseys and other football memorabilia for their own profit.
The NCAA states that players could face a potential one to four games suspension depending on how much they were paid for their autographed items.
University of Georgia’s running back Todd Gurley allegedly was paid $400 to sign 80 items. Along with that, Florida State’s quarterback Jameis Winston has been accused of signing around 950 items for an unknown profit.
Gurley has been suspended indefinitely, and the Winston decision is still pending. The difference in the cases is that there are photos of Gurley signing items for an autograph dealer, although there is no real proof of him accepting money. Where with Winston, it is mostly just suspicion in which one company had authenticated many of his autographed memorabilia.
USA Today did a study that Division I athletes put in as many hours in their sport as a full-time employee.
These athletes do not have time for a job. Their “profession” is being an athlete and representing themselves and their institution to the fullest extent possible. They get scholarships and most of these athletes get their college expenses paid for. But these athletes bring more profit to the school than the school gives to them.
Fans come to see big time college athletes and Heisman trophy frontrunners such as the two mentioned. In other words, the school is profiting off of them as players, and the players who are making the money see none of it.
Being a former Division II basketball player, I remember putting in over three hours a day in a practice, watching film, and lifting weights. Put that all together with travel and school work, there is hardly any time to earn your own money for personal expenses.
With all of the time an athlete puts in for their school’s athletic programs and the revenue that they bring in, shouldn’t players be allowed some profit? Especially when it comes from themselves.
I believe they should be allowed to sign anything for a profit. It has taken a lot of time and effort for a number of years to become the players that they are today. As an individual, they should be able to make whatever money people are willing to pay for a simple autograph.