School teaches star player to be cautious when signing autographs

“Is there somebody that might have had the wrong intent? Possibly,” he said. “But you’re signing autographs for people. You don’t think about it. I don’t think athletes sit down and go, ‘I’m going to make a bunch of money and sign autographs.’”

– Ray Tanner, athletics director, South Carolina Gamecocks

Ray Tanner, athletics director for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, told a YouWager news source that the school’s Heisman Trophy hopeful, Jadeveon Clowney, would not be putting himself in any kind of situation that could possibly cause him to risk losing his eligibility. As serious sportsbook bettors have seen, this is now going to be a major concern now for any college with a superstar player. As Johnny Manziel’s attorney promises the young quarterback will be playing in Texas A&M’s opening games, other colleges are also bringing in lawyers and schooling their players on the proper way to deal with autograph hounds.

Clowney’s biggest hit, made during their bowl game against Michigan, after a questionable call by a referee, in which Clowney hit an opposing player so hard that he knocked his helmet off, became a sensation in the online betting community. The recovered fumble was the top play of the year during a recent ESPN awards show.

Tanner told YouWager ’s source that the University of South Carolina has gone to some trouble to make sure a top player like Clowney understands the ramifications. He said, “I think he has listened to the counsel he has received. He went to the ESPYs (in Los Angeles) and handled himself very, very well. … I think he’s done a tremendous job with all the attention he had gotten.”

Carolina’s department of compliance department has found nothing improper in the hundreds of Clowney-authenticated autographed items currently for sale on eBay.

Tanner credits the briefings, and seems to feel that Clowney, one of his most important players, is now prepared for what might come his way. Tanner told YouWager ’s source, “He has been advised and I think he understands that when you’re signing, you know exactly who you’re dealing with and who’s going to get the autograph and how it’s going to be used,” Tanner said. “It’s not just random where you sign things, and you don’t think twice about it. Many times, it’s innocent. … You have to go back to (the fact that) he’s 20 years old. He assumes everybody is well intended and certainly he is.”

Signings by Carolina’s defensive end received much more attention after the reports came out about reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M allegedly accepting payment for signing items. Under NCAA rules, Student-athletes are not supposed to be compensated for their autographs.

Many of YouWager ’s dedicated NFL football wagering enthusiasts believe Clowney could be the Number One Pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Popularity aside, Tanner could not explain the large number of items autographed by Clowney that are now posted on Internet auction sites.


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