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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jayhawks adjust autograph policies after A&M investigation

Eight-year-old Jackson Noland waits as Kansas freshman Wayne Selden signs his T-shirt during an autograph session for attendees of Bill Self's basketball camp Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Eight-year-old Jackson Noland waits as Kansas freshman Wayne Selden signs his T-shirt during an autograph session for attendees of Bill Self's basketball camp Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas University’s athletic department will continue to let its athletes sign autographs for fans, despite fallout from the Johnny Manziel sign-for-profit allegations at Texas A&M.

KU football coach Charlie Weis on Tuesday said the Jayhawk players and coaches would sign for 30 minutes following Saturday’s Fan Appreciation Day practice, to kick off at 11:15 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.

KU football posters, rosters and other items will be available for the team to sign. Any other items brought by fans for signing will have to be personalized by the coaches and/or players. A player or coach will ask the autograph seeker his/her name and include that on the signed item.

“You all know about this stuff that’s going on. This is our happy medium,” Weis said Tuesday.

Louisville football coach Charlie Strong on Monday said he would not let Cardinals players sign autographs at Sunday’s Fun Day. Miami (Fla.) said it would allow the signing of only school-issued items.

KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Tuesday the KU athletic department would continue to let fans line up outside the basketball team’s locker room (northwest corner, Allen Fieldhouse) and obtain autographs after home games during the upcoming season. Autographs are a hot topic with QB Manziel allegedly having been paid by a dealer to sign a variety of items that were put on sale on the Internet and other locations.

“We have encouraged all our athletes when they sign something, they personalize it,” Marchiony said. “The only reason somebody would not want that personalized is because they think it would be worth more on the market if it wasn’t personalized. There’s also a sign by the Media Room (NW corner) that says thanks but reminds everybody because of time constraints a player will be signing one item.”

Marchiony said KU officials realize there are dealers who pursue the players for autographs in the autograph line and in the Allen Fieldhouse parking lot, with the sole intent of selling the autographed items. It is against NCAA rules for players to receive any money from those individual autograph seekers.

“Yes we are aware of them and I think it’s a combination of the players sticking to the suggested guidelines (personalizing autographs and inking only one item) and us doing our part as administrators to help the players. It is an issue we will be mindful of going forward,” Marchiony said. “We tell the players to be very comfortable saying to them (in parking lot), ‘I have already done autographs. Thank you very much. I am going to be going home, now.’”

Marchiony said KU athletes and coaches appreciate the fact fans want autographs.

“The vast majority of folks who ask for autographs (ask) for purer reasons than the professionals,” he said. “That is part of the connection between our teams and our fans. Every team (at KU) gives autographs.”

Select-A-Seat: This is the week fans learn their basketball seat locations in KU’s Select-A-Seat program.

“More people are taking more seats than they have in the past, yes,” Marchiony said, when asked if a majority of fans are purchasing up to the allowable six tickets. “We are always in a sellout situation. This year we will be in a sellout situation much sooner than we have in the past.

“We’ve been able to offer mini-packs and half-season tickets (in past years), that kind of thing. We don’t anticipate that is going to happen this year.

“It has gone smoothly over the first two days,” Marchiony added. “I think our fans understand that the hype associated with this season has created an excitement and demand for tickets that you would expect at an even higher level than normal.”

Challenge tip times: ESPN on Tuesday announced times for the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

KU will play Florida at 6 p.m., Central time, Dec. 10, in Gainesville, Fla. Other games: Texas Tech at Alabama, 8 p.m., Nov. 14; Auburn at Iowa State, 6 p.m., Dec. 2; Vanderbilt at Texas, 8 p.m., Dec. 2; West Virginia at Missouri, 6 p.m., Dec. 5; TCU at Mississippi State, 6 p.m, Dec. 5; Mississippi at Kansas State, 8 p.m., Dec. 5; South Carolina at Oklahoma State, 8:30 p.m., Dec. 6; Baylor vs. Kentucky, 9 p.m., Dec. 6, in Arlington, Texas; Oklahoma v. Texas A&M, 6 p.m., Dec, 21, in Houston.

Comments

domino 7 months, 4 weeks ago

So glad the autograph signing will continue. My mother-in-law was one of the biggest KU fans around. A number of years ago, I was able to attend a signing with my daughter and get Jerod Haase's autograph as well as pictures with him. Actually had the autograph made to my MIL. She cried when I gave it to her! That year when her birthday came around, I asked her what she wanted (the answer was usually 'nothing') but that year she said she knew what she wanted and that was a copy of the picture of me with Jarod. So I found pictures of myself and my daughter with Jarod, bought some flat metal Jayhawks and took them to an art gallery. I had them position, matt and frame the pictures, Jayhawks and leave a place for the autographed picture she had and gave it to her for her birthday. She cried again and it was one of her most prized possessions! This sweet lady watched the 2008 North Carolina game and championship game from her place in heaven. On Tuesday, April 8, 2008, we celebrated a KU National Championship and her life. She was burried in one of her favorite KU sweatshirts and the family, minister and most of those in attendance donned their KU gear for her graveside service. The minister even said she probably made a pass thru Lawrence on her way to heaven.

This is the kind of things these autographs mean to people! Rock Chalk!!!

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Sally Presson 8 months ago

My day is ruined, I just read where the mini packet won't be available this year. I'm sick!!! We can't manage the full package or the expense that gets us the opportunity to purchase those season tickets, but we could manage the mini package. I just hope we can get tickets for one or two games, we aren't giving up until they tell us no, but doesn't sound good. Well, it is good, glad there are so many KU fans who are looking forward to this season. My husband is a KU grad who paid out of state tuition every year we were there, he was an architecture student. Can't wait for football and basketball. We wish both teams the best!!! We'll be at late night so we'll get to see the team then.

Rock Chalk, it's going to be an amazing season!!!

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justanotherfan 8 months ago

The Olympics used to have a lot of rules about amateurism, too. Those went away because too much money got involved. The same thing has happened with college athletics. There's too much money involved to act like this is just amateur athletics.

To argue that only the stars would profit from being able to sell signatures and memorabilia seems to ring untrue. Had a player that did not have an NBA future, like say (hypothetically of course, I am not accusing anyone of anything, just using an example) Kevin Young, decided to autograph and sell items while at KU, I am sure he could have made a decent amount of money - maybe not the kind of money that Manziel made, but a decent amount nonetheless.

And then there is the issue that Bilas pointed to earlier this week - the selling of jerseys. Two years ago, the top selling KU jerseys for basketball were 0 and 10. Last year the top seller was 23. Something in my gut tells me the biggest sellers this year will be 22, 34 and 1. That's just a guess, and it may turn out to just be a coincidence, but let's see how it turns out. After all, why would KU pick those particular numbers to market in those particular years for basketball?

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REHawk 8 months ago

How many tens of thousands of dollars will KU and the NCAA clock in the next decade from the sale of Andrew Wiggins gear? What amount of income to KU, Kansas Athletics or the coaching staff from the appearance of Andrew at games, camps or public autograph signings? Yeah, the lad has signed a contract to play and abide by NCAA Division 1 rules at KU. The 2013-14 media perks are monstrously important to his current fame and popularity which will affect future earnings. Yet there is something almost scandalous about his inability to share in the take for sale items with his name or signature. His demeanor appears to be a giant step above the current style of A+M's John QB, and I would expect him to play within the rules of his contractual scholarship. That said, there still is an odor of injustice regarding the huge unshared profits which institutions will bank from his name, if not his signature.

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Lloyd Kinnison 8 months ago

T A&M has a man-child issue, The child has not developed into a man. He is not matured into an adult and continues to demonstrate that he is not able to make decisions as an adult.

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Joe Joseph 8 months ago

Stupid question- can an NCAA athlete sell his/her own autograph (no broker or anything), like on eBay? What if its an autograph on a plain basketball or picture that's not licensed by the university?

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justanotherfan 8 months ago

The walk-on idea wouldn't work. The whole scholarship system was created to allow the NCAA to have control of the athlete. You think if the best athletes could declare themselves "walk-ons" that boosters wouldn't be lining up to pay their tuition? This is the problem.

I was a regular student on academic scholarship in college. I always point out the benefits that non athletes can receive because I got lots of those - from alums picking up a dinner tab, or giving some guys gas money to get home over fall break, or getting paid to do random pseudo jobs like house sitting, any student can get those types of things - except an athlete, and that's just not fair.

I got the same education that was available to an athlete. I also got to enjoy the benefits and the anonymity - no worry about having my grades debated in the paper, or my ACT scores leaked, or what I did last night becoming front page news. Athletes don't get that. If a student athlete gets into an argument in front of the dorms, it's gonna be on KUsports the next day. If it's the kid on the debate team, nobody even notices.

Yeah, they get to play a game they love, but if you think a kid can get to the level of being a pro prospect just by going to an NCAA school, you are sadly mistaken. Hours of practice, sweat and work went into that long before any college coach ever saw that kid run or dribble or throw. College sports is just a stop along the way for pro prospects. It just so happens that on that stop the only people getting rich (and people are most certainly getting rich) are the coaches, administrators, overseers, investigators and outsiders.

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REHawk 8 months ago

OK, here is an alternative scenario. A toprated player such as Wiggins declares to his university of choice, "I will play for you as a walk-on, paying my own expenses; but I will do so with the understanding that I sign no autographs for university sales or fans during my tenure at your institution. And I expect you to make it very clear to your fanbase that my decision to play for you includes that stipulation. In essence, you protect me from autograph seekers." Just imagine the demand for and value of those Wiggins autographs the moment he finishes playing for his collegiate team! In no time he likely will reimburse himself for college expenditures.

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saidtoomuch 8 months ago

Colorado when will we be able to get those tickets to see the Hawks play at Allen West this year?

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saidtoomuch 8 months ago

15 year-old Olympic athletes get alot of perks and benefits but are still allowed to market themselves through autographs and advertising. If youre a scholarship drummer for the KU marching band and you play in a rock band on Mass. St., you can still sell autographed cds and shirts, bit Wiggins isn't allowed to do something similar. Oh yeah, his huge benefit is one year of paid tuition. Alot of these kids could probably pay their own tuition if they were allowed to market themselves outside of the NCAA.

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saidtoomuch 8 months ago

You're not just another fan, you're right on the money. Someone stated earlier they're free to go make money elsewhere if they don't like the NCAA, but Wiggins isn't free to go play in the NBA this year. Instead Wiggins is a huge marketing tool for KU. He could play pro tennis or soccer, or join the PGA, or go play pro in Europe, but not free to get paid in the NBA in the most free country in the world, America.

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justanotherfan 8 months ago

HEM,

I would respectfully disagree.

Athletes are on scholarship because of their skills in a specific area (sports). Other students reap that same benefit (full tuition to the same university) because of their skill in a different area (academics).

But here's where those two paths differ - athletes are completely forbidden from getting ANY benefits from the fact that they are athletes at the university. Other scholarship students are not.

If you are a student on academic scholarship at KU or any other university, you can attend school on scholarship and still make money from your skill set - and you can do it because you are a student at that university! If you are a pre-law student and you run into a successful lawyer that happens to be a KU alum, that alum can give you a job outside of school and there are NO REGULATIONS regarding how much you can pay that student, how much they can work, whether you can take them to lunch, give them other perks, etc.

For an athlete every single one of those things is regulated.

You argue that students can benefit later. I would argue that regular students benefit from the student athletes success. It has been demonstrated in many studies that athletic success correlates strongly with an increase in alumni giving. That doesn't just benefit the student athletes - that benefits every student.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/07/03/report-finds-alumni-giving-among-other-areas-correlated-football-success

http://are.berkeley.edu/~mlanderson/pdf/Anderson%20College%20Sports.pdf

http://thesportseconomist.com/2006/01/05/more-on-athletic-success-and-donations/

That's just a random sampling of the academic studies.

Finally, to your point about becoming pros later - in sports for the elite athletes, that has NOTHING to do with their pro success. That's been proven in basketball and baseball for years. If you honestly believe that a player like Andrew Wiggins needs to come to KU in order to have an NBA future you are seriously kidding yourself. The superstars don't need the NCAA for that. The late bloomers do, but those aren't the ones that hit campus as huge stars, generally.

And if you think the pro leagues wouldn't be able to identify players if the NCAA didn't exist, well, I don't know what to tell you. I know you're probably thinking, but what about the preps to pros players that end up as busts? Well, what about the former college stars that end up as pro busts? There will always be busts because there will always be guys that just aren't able to make the transition, and that will always exist because the talent difference is so large.

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Cameron Cederlind 8 months ago

KU at Florida: KU

Texas Tech at Alabama: Alabama

Auburn at Iowa State: Iowa St

Vanderbilt at Texas: Texas

West Virginia at Missouri: Missouri

TCU at Mississippi State: Mississippi St

Mississippi at Kansas State: Mississippi

South Carolina at Oklahoma State: Oklahoma St

Baylor vs. Kentucky: Kentucky

Oklahoma v. Texas A&M: Oklahoma

Big 12 - 5 SEC - 5 ????? Thoughts?

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carolinajay 8 months ago

Everybody makes money off of college players except the players. I would think that some sort of stipend may help control this under-the-table stuff. I am sure that someone would bring up free tuition, but that won't buy you a pizza. Then don't even go on about the "purity of amateur college athletics".

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Dee Shaw 8 months ago

Not sure why we are concerned about people profiting off our football players autographs. As Coach Weis said just a few weeks ago, "Have you seen that pile of crap out there". Enough said.

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REHawk 8 months ago

For these organized public signings, place a tip jar at the end of the autograph line, with a sign, "Volunteer gratuity: 1 DOLLAR MAX." Proceeds to be split by entire squad and student managers.

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Michael Luby 8 months ago

I did this for the first time last year. I went to a game at AFH, the Richmond game, and afterwards I bought a KU ball and got all the players sigs on it. The ball sits on my top shelf in my library room and soon it will have a glass case. I fully intend on keeping it for a very long time but, I looked said item up on ebay recently and saw it can go for around 300ish. Crazy! I only paid around $30 for the ball and the time spent in line waiting for the players. Im absolutely doing this again this year...provided I can get tickets. I get the attraction to selling autographed merch but if you are a true KU fan, why would you want to?

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Jay Dogger 8 months ago

As for the Big 12/SEC Challenge... It seems like they're trying to match up teams of similar caliber. Mizzou plays West Virginia, who finished 8th last year. Just sayin'.

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Jay Dogger 8 months ago

I despise the name Johnny Football. Maybe he should be called Johnny Buzzkill.

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