The fallout from the Johnny Manziel autograph scandal at Texas A&M has been felt across the country, as programs like Miami and Louisville have limited or altered the plans for what items can be signed during their respective fan days.
Now it's being felt a little closer to home—College Station.
Texas A&M is now cracking down by forbidding its players from signing helmets, jerseys, photos and all other items other than specially designed autograph cards during its "Meet the Aggies" event on Aug. 24, according to ESPN.com.
Manziel has been under fire in recent weeks after reports surfaced that he had signed more than 4,400 items in less than a one-month span for three brokers in three states. Manziel allegedly took money in at least two of those instances, according to ESPN.com.
The official reason for A&M's decision to crack down is to "accommodate as many fans as possible." But let's be real—this is all about protecting itself from further headaches associated with NCAA bylaws and autographed items hitting the market.
That's a shame.
The difference between shady memorabilia signings in random hotel rooms and organized fan-day events is the size of the Grand Canyon.
Would some of the items from fan day make their way to eBay? Absolutely. There's no way to prevent that.
However, these events are structured in a way where it's almost impossible for brokers and companies to get a high volume of signed merchandise unless they have hundreds of employees in attendance.
Should Texas A&M allow all kinds of memorabilia to be signed at "Meet the Aggies" day?
It gets worse, though. A&M is also preventing fans from getting pictures taken with their favorite players. Part of the reason fans/non-brokers want autographs is to say, "Hey, I met that guy."
Now, that's not even possible.
Items appearing for sale on eBay aren't the issue, unless the players signed for money or signed with the direct knowledge that they will be put up for sale. Neither of those issues are at play during a fan day.
A&M's decision to limit items is an overreaction to a continually breaking story that doesn't protect the program.
It punishes the fan.