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USC clears Lee in autograph investigation

The SportsXchange

USC officials found that wide receiver Marqise Lee did not commit any NCAA violations in signing autographs during a trip to the BCS Championship Game in January, the school announced Tuesday.

The university said it plans to send a cease-and-desist letter to a memorabilia dealer to stop him from selling Lee's autograph.

Lee, a junior, and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&m were among a group of award winners who were invited to south Florida to take part in activities surrounding the championship game.

The NCAA is investigating whether Manziel accepted money for his autograph. A broker told ESPN on Tuesday that Manziel was paid $7,500 for his signature.

Lee won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver in 2012 after catching 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns.

"USC recently received an inquiry that floated Marqise Lee's name and the autograph signing situation in Miami that has been in the news lately," said Dave Roberts, USC vice president of athletic compliance. "As is USC's policy, USC immediately and diligently investigated the inquiry. ... Lee signed several photographs, some that were personalized, for an individual who represented himself as a fan and collector. Some of those photos have since been offered for sale online."

Lee said in a statement that he did not take money for his signature.

"I believed that the individual who asked me to sign the photos was a fan and collector," Lee said. "I did not ask to be paid, I was not offered anything, I did not get anything and I did not authorize my autographs to be sold. I will make no further comments regarding this statement or anything related to it."
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