In light of the most recent shenanigans of Johnny Manziel–who now stands accused of taking $7,500 in exchange for signing a number of autographs–USC has released a statement dispelling any connection between Marqise Lee and a similar autograph situation.
“USC recently received an inquiry that floated Marqise Lee’s name and the autograph signing situation in Miami that has been in the news lately.
“As is USC’s policy, USC immediately and diligently investigated the inquiry. Last January, Marqise and other college football award winners were in Miami to be honored by the Orange Bowl Committee at the BCS Championship Game. While there, Lee signed several photographs, some that were personalized, for an individual who represented himself as a fan and collector. Some of those photos have since been offered for sale online.
“USC has determined there was no NCAA infraction and is in the process of sending a cease-and-desist letter to the individual demanding that he stop selling any photos signed by Lee.”
It appears USC, having felt the wrath of the NCAA for its lack of transparency regarding the Reggie Bush situation, has learned its lesson and is going out of its way to be proactive and let the NCAA know no violations have been committed at the university.
“I believed that the individual who asked me to sign the photos was a fan and collector,” Lee said in the official statement. “I did not ask to be paid, I was not offered anything, I did not get anything and I did not authorize my autographs to be sold.”
As more information regarding Manziel’s AutographGate continues to spill out, we could see more schools that also had athletes in Miami at that time follow in USC’s footsteps.