Florida State athletic director Stan Wilcox released a statement Friday afternoon regarding the investigation into autographs allegedly signed by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston.
The statement, in its entirety, reads:
Our Athletics Department compliance staff is reviewing issues raised by the media related to autographed items attributed to Jameis Winston. At this time we have no information indicating that he accepted payment for items reported to bear his signature, thereby compromising his athletics eligibility. The fact that items appear on an Internet site bearing the signature of a student-athlete does not singularly determine a violation of NCAA rules. We have kept both the conference office and the NCAA apprised of our efforts on this matter. The University takes very seriously any and all allegations of potential rules violations and processes them in accordance with ACC and NCAA policies and procedures.
The statement comes on the heels of multiple ESPN reports that said more than 2,000 Winston autographs had been authenticated by the James Spence Authentication website. Though the website will not reveal the identity of customers who submitted the items for authentication, Spence did tell ESPN.com that the company believes the purported Winston signatures are real.
Spence also said no one at his company knows whether or not Winston was ever compensated for signing any of the authenticated items.
Florida State said earlier in the week it was investigating if Winston ever accepted money for signing memorabilia. FSU’s investigation comes after Georgia running back Todd Gurley was indefinitely suspended for allegedly being compensated for his signature.
Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher maintains that Winston, who also is a pitcher for FSU’s baseball team, was not paid for signing any items.
“Never taken a dime,” Fisher said, via Warchant.com. “He’s signed thousands of things. The guy sits for an hour-and-a-half before a baseball game and signs, an hour-and-a-half after a baseball game. I mean, there are thousands of things out there with his name on there. He is very accommodating.”
No. 2 Florida State (6-0) will host No. 5 Notre Dame (6-0) at home Saturday night. Winston is expected to play.
For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.
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