Profiteering Forces Colleges to Curtail Autographs

It’s not just wide-eyed kids asking for college football players’ autographs anymore.

With 24-hour sports channels–some even devoted to specific conferences–and mountains of online content devoted to it, college athletics has become big business. Its players, even those who aren’t big names, are in the spotlight. Fans want to meet them. Some clamor for autographs.

The schools with the most success and most exposure try to keep alumni and fans happy by setting up the occasional autograph session, but for some universities, it’s become more like a paid signing at a card show.

Too often, schools say, the autographs from star players who seem destined for pro careers are winding up on eBay.

It’s led to a crackdown in the number of autographs the schools are letting players sign–and even what they’re allowing fans to bring in.

With pre-season drills right around the corner, USA Today delves into the problem.