Braxton Miller cleared in Autograph Scandal

OSU Football

OSU Football

As anyone who follows sports will know Johnny Manziel is the target of an NCAA investigation for several autograph signing sessions where he was allegedly paid large amounts of money in return for signing 100s of items. You can read all about those claims by reading Joe Schad’s report on ESPN.

Today some of those same brokers had items by lots of CFB players including Jadaveon Clowney and Braxton Miller. As was first reported in this article on Busted Coverage.

After a brief investigation by myself you can find items by nearly every player on every team in CFB on Ebay. No one is exempt from it and 99% of those players on there will never be accused of doing anything illegal. Johnny Manziel has a real issue facing him as there are multiple dealers saying they paid him to sign stuff. Those dealers though will only tell their story to ESPN and wont tell it to the NCAA so most likely nothing will ever come of it.

What we are seeing though is this… Players and schools are coming out and saying their players did nothing wrong.

Such as this…

Of course now Ohio State has also released their own investigation report on the issue. Gene Smith had this to say to…

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told today that Ohio State received a call on Sunday night that Miller was the college athlete with the second-most memorabilia on a website where Manziel had the most items for sale. Manziel is reportedly being investigated by the NCAA for selling his autographs for money.

“We were told our guy was number two,” Smith said. “So we started checking on that. We went through all that stuff, and there’s no connection.”

Smith said the compliance department met with Miller sometime on Monday or Tuesday, and it was determined that most of the Miller merchandise for sale was signed during an hour-long autograph session held in Chicago in late July as part of Big Ten media days. The Buckeyes and Michigan had the longest lines there.

Which led to this discussion today with B1G commish Jim Delaney who was in town today to watch OSU practice and talk to OSU staff…

With Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany in Columbus today as part of his tour of the conference, Smith said he brought up that issue, and questioned whether such a large autograph signing was the best idea in the future, in light of the recent and past autograph sales that aroused NCAA concerns.

“A lot of that is from there, and we’re doing it to ourselves,” Smith said.

Ohio State, for example, has greatly curtailed the autographs signed by its athletes and instead gives photo cards to its high-profile players, like Miller, to pass out. Less than three years removed from memorabilia violations that brought sanctions down on the football team, Smith said the athletic department chases any potential issues when they arise, and in this case, Ohio State is confident that Miller did nothing wrong.

“We’ve been on it,” Smith said. “There’s nothing there. There’s nothing there.”

Which leads itself to a lot of discussion about whether schools and conferences should be holding signing sessions for fans that are filled with autograph dealers that will lead to profits made off those signatures and questions of the integrity of the players doing the signing.


  1. […] It seems like we shouldn’t have to even discuss this, but after the allegations against Johnny Manziel, every top tier program made sure they came clean with anything that involved their star players and anything that even had the look of impropriety. Everyone, be cool: Braxton Miller is in the clear. […]

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