Colleges Trying to Stem Tide of Players Selling Autographs, Memorabilia

It may seem hard to comprehend in Chicago.  Strange in St. Louis.  Bizarre in Boston.  But in college towns and hotbeds for campus sports, there’s a big market for autographs and memorabilia from players who are still in school (or supposed to be).

Autographed Oregon Ducks helmetAllegations of players trading autographs and team memorabilia for goods, services and sometimes cash have made 2011 a nightmare for Ohio State. Other schools say it’s a potential problem.

The NCAA doesn’t want players to benefit from the sale of anything.  Doing so is a violation that could land a team on probation.  Yet for years, deals have gone on between star players and memorabilia dealers–all done under wraps.  The university can sell or auction player memorabilia.  The athlete just can’t get a cut.

Now, the schools are starting to step up their efforts to stay clean by keeping a lid on who their athletes can associate with.

The rise of the Oregon football program is one example.

Oregon Live talked with school officials and even a local seller about what goes on behind the scenes.