Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More horrifying crimes, or not

Let's admit it: 950 autographs is a lot.

That's how many Jameis Winston autographed items are logged onto the website of James Spence Authentication -- the same outfit for which Georgia running back Todd Gurley signed stuff, and for which he has been punished as if he'd knocked over an armored car. Florida State is now launching an investigation to determine whether Winston actually knowingly signed these items for money, or signed them with the promise of payment later on, or if he even signed them at all.

He says he didn't.

I say, as with Gurley, that I don't really care if he did or not, because I don't regard this as the crime of the century as much as a young man taking advantage of a business opportunity. The only scandal here is if, by signing his name 950 times, he wore out his passing arm.

In which case, this becomes national news: The first known instance of a Heisman Trophy winner succumbing to writer's cramp.

It is however, a curious window into the mentality of college football and those who run it.

Consider: It's taken almost two years for Winston to be hauled into a university code of conduct hearing because of rape allegations that go back to December 2012. This after the shoplifting incident and the reckless destruction of property he was party to via the football team's  now documented  BB gun wars.

None of that drew much of anything but a shrug from Florida State officials.

But allegedly selling his own signature and not cutting the school in on the deal?

 Well, that's another matter entirely.

That's a money issue, see, and as we should all know by now, college football is above all else an engine of commerce built on cheap labor and barely ethical sweetheart deals. And so the school moved with oily speed when it came to light that one of their laborers might be making a little coin on the side.

Priorities, as they say.

And an action that speaks very loudly indeed. 

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