Autograph dealer sent email in September saying Todd Gurley had signed items
Did an autograph dealer tell the Georgia compliance office about Todd Gurley allegedly receiving compensation for signed items?
Someone claiming to be a dealer emailed SB Nation and other outlets on September 30 saying he had video of Gurley signing items. Gurley was suspended Thursday for reportedly being paid to sign memorabilia. An athlete receiving compensation for his or her likeness is against NCAA rules.
According to SI.com, someone confirmed to Georgia's compliance office this week that Gurley had been paid $400 for signing 80 items.
Here's the email from SB Nation:
I have video of Todd Gurley doing a private autograph signing ***. He has been paid thousands of dollars for his stuff over the last 18 months. I personally paid him for this signing on the video. I have bought and sold game used equipment from him.
I want no compensation. Just want someone to leak this story that's deserving. If you have any interest, give me a call or email. I attached a photo of him in my car signing a mini helmet that I just sold last week on my eBay store.
All I ask is some privacy until we can touch base. id="paragraph4">I live on Georgia and would crucified if my name was released
The video is about 5 minutes long but doesn't show the money exchange.
My cell is **********
I believe this would be the lead story on sports center if ESPN got their hands on this. Hope to hear from you soon.
SB Nation was unable to confirm the identity of the person signing autographs in the video.
When the person who sent the email was called (and after the site verified the person was selling items with Gurley's signature), the person reached at the number said he could not talk at the moment and didn't provide any other information. ESPN.com reported the autograph dealer's name is Bryan Allen and he has retained an Atlanta-area attorney who has represented former NFL LB Ray Lewis previously.
Deadspin published communication from someone believed to be the same dealer Friday afternoon. After a back-and-forth with the site, the dealer, who wanted compensation for the video, said that Gurley "kind of screwed me" by doing other autograph signings.
Again, not trying to get rich. I spent a few grand on the signing and Gurley has since kind of screwed me by doing this with about 30 other guys. The stuff has lost a ton of its value. Just wanna recoup some of my money.
The same person said he was in communication with Georgia's compliance department this week and told Deadspin that on Thursday, the day Gurley was suspended.
So a lot has happened since I talked to you. I have spoken to people at the compliance office directly about 15 times this week. Their lawyers called me and I know they drove about 3 hours to meet with someone today.
Yes, it appears that Gurley could have been turned in by someone mad that he signed other autographs for other people.
If Georgia deems that Gurley did commit an NCAA violation, he must be declared ineligible and the NCAA must reinstate him. Any penalties upon reinstatement would depend on the total value of compensation.
As Pat Forde noted Thursday, while the NCAA's rules regarding likenesses may be archaic, Gurley had to know the rules and that he was breaking them. At the very least, he had to be aware of the controversy surrounding Johnny Manziel at the beginning of 2013. While the NCAA never found proof that Manziel had been compensated for his signature, he was suspended for the first half of Texas A&M's season opener.
For more Georgia news, visit UGASports.com.
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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter!