For those of you who don’t know, I work in the radio business in Louisville, and over the last couple days a hot topic on both sports radio and other talk radio has the been Charlie Strong’s decision to eliminate the autograph session portion of the fan day in the wake of the Johnny Manziel scandal, as well as some reports that Teddy Bridgewater autographed material was available. Bridgewater has since been cleared but Strong is arguing the risks of having an autograph session is too great and he chose to eliminate that portion of the day for the fans. Let’s address a couple things real quickly:
1. THIS IS SO DUMB.
2. It’s beyond stupid because the ONLY way you get in trouble with the NCAA is if your players get paid for their autograph. I strongly doubt any of your players are going to be paid at an autograph session RUN BY YOUR SCHOOL! I understand many of you don’t follow UL like those of us that live in this city, but Charlie Strong is notorious for vast overreactions to this and that and everything else. And this is probably his gold standard for a ridiculous decision.
3. You are robbing children of probably their only chance for a face to face meeting and/or autograph with the players, who if you haven’t figured this out, are role models.
Now that I have that off my chest, I want you to closely look at point #3. In that point, I clearly state that eliminating the autograph session is robbing CHILDREN of that opportunity. But what about adults? I gotta admit, I don’t understand wanting a person’s signature. Give me a picture or memorabilia over somebody’s name any day of the week. And even those things have to be for only my favorite athletes. But, I understand some people love collecting those things like I collected baseball cards as a kid.
But what about the autographs for adults? I don’t understand it. First of all, many adults are trying to immediately place these autographs on Ebay and other sites to try and make a profit. Seriously, get a life. But hey, it’s capitalism, so be it. But for those adults who get the autographs to actually keep for themselves, I need an explanation. I don’t understand what a person’s name on a piece of paper means to you. It has always baffled me, along with many other things as you know.
So, in the comments section I want you to discuss and answer 2 questions for me:
1) Do you agree it is ridiculous for UL to eliminate it’s autograph session part of Fan Day?
2) What is the benefit, as an adult, to having another grown man/woman’s autograph? Where is the appeal?