As a kid, one of my fondest memories is when I got to meet Vinnie "The Microwave" Johnson. It was in a Meijer shop and having him sign his autograph on a t-shirt was equivalent to winning the lottery for a lifelong Detroit Pistons fan. Never in my wildest dreams would I think about selling that autograph for some money. Didn't matter if I was eight or 80.
These days, autographs and memorabilia are a business venture. Grown men are lining up to get college athletes to sign anything and everything to make a few extra bucks. Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel has been all over the airwaves; you can't turn on ESPN without seeing a mention of possible sanctions.
Manziel and college athletes pay the price for being targeted by autograph hounds and the scam artists run off without any penalties for themselves? Not exactly.
A University of Michigan Professor and Sports Economist, Rodney Fort, went to Twitter to post a link to some bad news for the autograph seeking scum.
Take care autograph hounds. Texas law makes you complicit if there is any NCAA penalty! http://t.co/dk9hWczun8— Rodney Fort (@RodneyFort) August 15, 2013
The article, from a law firm known as BGS, LLC., points out that in the state of Texas, a law passed in 1987 can hold people who compensate college athletes, like Manziel, liable for their actions. It's a direct violation of NCAA legislation.
It's a fascinating read and worth a glance.
Do you think Manziel should get what he deserves? Should these people targeting college athletes be held accountable for their actions?