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Does A College Player Control His Own Signature?

by Tom King

The NCAA is looking into memorabilia signed by last years Heisman Trophy winner. Johnny Manziel signed stuff for a flat five-figure fee while visiting south Florida for the BCS National Championship game. ESPN is reporting that two sources saw the signings but not the exchange of money.

My question is this...Does the NCAA have control over a players autograph? If Johnny Manziel can find idiots that are willing to pay for his signature...why shouldnt he be able to sell it? The NCAA is a monolithic organization that continually tries to keep it's boot on the necks of the athletes it purports to serve. 

I'm hoping that the Ed O'Bannon case...which we discussed in this space earlier will if not destroy, at least permanantly weaken the NCAA and keep it from fighting cases like this one. 

Manziel has had alot of problems this off-season being a 19 year old knucklehead. Hopefully he doesnt melt down into another Maurice Clarett who pissed away a sure-thing NFL contract by believing he was untouchable. I would think the chances of Manziel heading to the pros as soon as possible is more likely than the alternative. Then he can sell as many autographs as he can write.