I understand Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher’s desire to stand up for his guy. But at what point does even he realize how silly he sounds?
In regards to more than 950 items with quarterback Jameis Winston’s authenticated signature being claimed by a company, James Spence Authentication, Fisher told media in Tallahassee Tuesday. “Feel very good. Talked to [Jameis] and everything, people have talked to the owners of the company and different people, from what I understand. We’ll see.”
More: “He’s never taken a dime for anything. He’s signed thousands of things. I mean, the guy sits for an hour and a half before a baseball game and signed and an hour and a half after a baseball game — I mean, there are thousands of things out there with his name on it.”
Time for a counter-point.
James Spence, the founder of JSA, told ESPN it’s unlikely the autographed items were randomly signed, like before or after games. That suggests the obvious: The items were part of a formal, mass signing, the kind somebody gets paid for. “The way they are sequenced does mean they were submitted at the same time by a person,” Spence said. “I can’t imagine that fans would get together to do that.”
I guess Fisher didn’t speak to Spence. But then Florida State doesn’t seem to care about anything Winston does as long as helps them win football games.
FSU’s approach with the Winston situation has differed from Georgia’s with Todd Gurley. Gurley was suspended indefinitely after an investigation into whether he received payment for autographs opened and already has missed one game.
For my latest column on Gurley, click here. Once the investigation is complete, it’s uncertain how the NCAA will act. The organization is going through change and public sentiment largely has been on the side of athletes.
Georgia didn’t want to risk playing Gurley at Missouri, then later have the NCAA rule against him, effectively making the running back ineligible and forcing the Bulldogs to forfeit the game.
Fisher apparently doesn’t have that concern. Either that or figures his team is dead with Winston, anyway.• PREVIOUSLY ON THIS SUBJECT — MyAJC: Does NCAA care that public sentiment favors Gurley, athletes? — MyAJC: Georgia’s response heard loud and clear — MyAJC: NCAA needs to realize amateurism is dead — AJC: LIVE: Georgia ready to give it a go minus Gurley — AJC: Minus Gurley, Dogs must overcome flaws — AJC: With Gurley suspended, is Georgia done? — MyAJC: If Gurley broke rules, that’s on him