Gamecocks clear Clowney of autograph wrongdoing

South Carolina announced Wednesday that NCAA violations were not committed by junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney after the school was made aware of signed memorabilia from the star player appearing for sale online.

In the wake of allegations against reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel for receiving payment in exchange for his signature, South Carolina associate athletics director Chris Rogers said the school found no wrongdoing on Clowney’s part.

“We have investigated things that have been on eBay with him and student-athletes before,” Roger told The State newspaper. “In the situations I can say we looked into, there was no further for us to go.”

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier stood behind Clowney while speaking with reporters. Spurrier has closed South Carolina’s practices in part to keep autograph seekers away.

“I really believe Jadeveon has never accepted anything for signing an autograph,” Spurrier said. “He’s such a nice guy,” Spurrier said of Clowney. “Marcus Lattimore was the same way. They signed almost everything.

“Some guy will say my kid has a mom with cancer. You get all kinds of stories to get them to sign and they hate to say no. And I’ve usually told both of them, ‘Tell them Coach Spurrier says they can’t sign, it’s against the rules.’ But the little kids and whatever – they’re going to sign.”

The autograph issue has received heightened attention in the past week after ESPN’s report that the NCAA is investigating the possibility that Manziel of Texas A&M received money for signing autographs in January. An East Coast autograph broker told ESPN on Tuesday that the quarterback was paid $7,500.

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