The allegations surrounding Johnny Manziel—that he brokered a deal to sign autographs for pay—have set off a chain reaction throughout college football, forcing schools across the national landscape to investigate similar instances on their own teams.
South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney is, perhaps, the second-biggest star in college football, so it only made sense that the Gamecocks would do their due diligence. But after looking into some of Clowney's signed memorabilia on eBay, the school found no violations.
"We have investigated things that have been on eBay with him and student-athletes before. In the situations I can say we looked into, there was no further for us to go, and we determined there was no violation," USC associate athletic director Chris Rogers said, according to Josh Kendall of The State (via Go Gamecocks).
And as ESPN's Darren Rovell reported, now that this investigation is in the past, Steve Spurrier is not taking any more chances. He's increased security around Clowney to protect him from autograph seekers:
Per Kendall's story, Clowney's name emerged in the wake of the Manziel allegations as "several national media outlets reported the volume of signed Clowney items that are available on eBay." Busted Coverage ran a story explaining that the same dealer who is selling Manziel autographs is the one selling Clowney's.
But such reports are merely statements of fact, and though the media's natural inclination is to assume the worst (especially given the current state of college athletics), there is no evidence or reason to believe that Clowney received any payments.
Still, it's interesting to see the ripple effect Manziel's investigation is having on major college programs throughout the country.
Marqise Lee, the star receiver of America's other USC, was also investigated by his school after the Manziel story broke. He was with Manziel in Miami during the BCS National Championship Game and signed some photographs, but according to Daniel Uthman of USA Today, the Trojans found no evidence that he received any payments.
Clowney and Manziel are often compared as on-field weapons, but they are also often contrasted as off-field personae. Whereas Manziel can't seem to avoid the spotlight, Clowney has done a remarkably good job of staying out of trouble (recent gaffe with Jay-Z notwithstanding).
So it befits him, unlike Johnny, to be quickly investigated, put this in his past and move on with the season. And that's exactly what appears to be happening.
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