No more single autographs for Louisville and Miami football players. It's too risky. Louisville head coach Charlie Strong said in a statement that eliminating the opportunity for fans to receive autographs from individual players would protect his players' eligibility and be in the best interest of the program.
"We have monitored the situation closely, and we decided to protect the eligibility of our players and operate under the principle that it not permissible to accept any type of compensation for their autograph or the sale of memorabilia," Strong said in an official statement, via CBSSports. "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."
Miami did something similar, announcing that individual players will not sign autographs at CanesFest this year.
"As part of the University of Miami's commitment to NCAA compliance and in light of recent national news, student-athletes will only sign the official 2013 BankUnited #CanesFest postr that will be provided for free at the event," the school release read. "Please do not bring or ask student-athletes to sign other items. Your cooperation and support for the athletics department in complying with NCAA regulations is greatly appreciated."
The NCAA has these teams running scared over what? Autographs and eligibility? All of this is really exposing the NCAA in a much different way than when it was just about the dissenting view lobbying for players to get paid for their work. Now it flips everything on its head when you talk about altering the fan experience, especially for children.
Obvious elephant in the room here: How are you going to pay someone with a scholarship if their signature can get at least half that? NCAA's got some problems here.