In wake of Manziel saga, UT rewrites autograph policy

Tennessee players from left, Michael Palardy, Maurice Couch, and James Stone sign autographs for fans during the University of Tennessee Alumni Association's Welcome Back Barbecue at Thompson-Boling Arena on  Wednesday, August 21, 2013. 
  
 (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young

Tennessee players from left, Michael Palardy, Maurice Couch, and James Stone sign autographs for fans during the University of Tennessee Alumni Association's Welcome Back Barbecue at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday, August 21, 2013. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Vols host BBQ for fans

A long line of patient Tennessee fans waited outside Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday night. Some grasped mini footballs, replica UT helmets and pictures of their favorite players. Inside the arena, the Knoxville Region UTK Alumni Chapter’s annual Welcome Back Barbecue awaited.

The menu included pulled barbecue, roasted chicken pieces, baked beans and, of course, autographs.

But this year’s event was unlike any of the past, where freewheeling fans had unfiltered access to players for autographs.

Thanks to the highly publicized saga of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s alleged pay-for-autographs misdoings, Tennessee, like other programs as of late, implemented a new, restrictive autograph policy for the event.

It’s just a sign of things to come.

“It’s a new day,” UT athletic director Dave Hart told the News Sentinel, tucked in a tunnel leading to the Thompson-Boling Arena floor filled with approximately 1,600 fans. “The landscape has shifted and we’re assessing events just like this because of that landscape shift. We’ll find ways for people to interact, but not necessarily with the players.”

Black and white posters declared the new day. Fans entering the arena were met by a set of rules headlined, “Autograph Restrictions.” The poster began, “Due to NCAA concerns, we ask all attendees to please adhere to our autograph policy.”

Those policies stated players could not sign personally owned items such as footballs and helmets. Instead, only a university-issued poster could be signed and every signature had to be personalized by the student-athlete to the recipient.

The poster ended with an italicized message saying profiting from autographs could result in the loss of a student-athlete’s eligibility.

“I think everybody (in collegiate athletics) is going to take whatever they are doing and reexamine it a little bit,” Hart said. “But not to the point of elimination of opportunities. For example, if all them sign a poster that looks alike, that’s one thing. If people are personalizing it, that’s fine. But if people are going to market that, that’s an issue and it’s real.”

All this stems from reports of autograph brokers alleging Manziel, college football’s reigning Heisman Trophy winner, accepted money in exchange for participating in autograph sessions. Per NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.1, student-athletes may not accept money for promotion or sale of a product or service.

That includes autographs. Manziel’s eligibility in 2013 is now the centerpiece of football’s preseason. As a result, athletic departments everywhere are scrambling to assure their stars don’t sink in similar murky waters.

UT made no formal announcement of its autograph policy change prior to Wednesday night. Many fans left the arena with unsigned items and quizzical looks. Admission for adults was $10, $6 for children.

Asked about educating the fan base, Hart replied, “We have not had that opportunity and I’m not sure anybody has with an entire fan base.”

According to Hart, that will come with time. This is all very new. What’s most important now, he said, is “not putting our student-athletes in an environment that could potentially create issues.”

Some players are different than others. Fans flocked to offensive tackle Antonio “Tiny” Richardson on Wednesday, posing for pictures and asking for his signature. Richardson is projected as a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft and he’s not the only future pro on the UT roster. Those players are most susceptible to lurking outsiders profiting off their likeness.

“They are elite athletes that are going to play at the next level, so we meet individually with all them because the scrutiny is ratcheted up considerably on those young men,” Hart said.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee football and men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/QuinnKNS.

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Comments » 71

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

The new policy reminds me of the managerial style of a supervisor I had years ago.

Kneejerk reactions to incomplete data.

BTKidd writes:

If you pay college athletes money for anything, there will be rampant cheating that make SMU look mild in comparison. There will be slush money accounts that magically appear and disappear. Bryce Brown basically went straight to the pros from high school. College certainly didn't develop him. If they want to get paid, go pro.

TNboy72 writes:

I was at this event tonight. My son and I drove all the way from Charlotte and it was quite the disappointment for him. We had an autograph ball like we usually do and were told we could not have it autographed, but the players could autograph a UT poster provided. Said poster was of Butch Jones with a black background. With a black sharpie, there was little room for signatures. To top it off, Curt Maggitt and AJ Johnson were not even allowed to sign. I understand the premise, but this just ruins it for the kids. To top it off, the event was much shorter than the previous 3 years we have attended and we barely had time to even get to the players. It was disappointing to explain to my 10 year old that he could not get his ball signed or have his favorite players even sign the poster. Now I see in this article where Hart says “We’ll find ways for people to interact, but not necessarily with the players.” Not with the players??? Fans can’t even be around players anymore? Ridiculous.

southernbelle79 writes:

It is tough to be a Division 1 athlete. Coaches can make millions off your talent. Schools can make millions off your talent. If you get hurt, or you aren't big enough or fast enough, you never get a chance to make anything off your talent.

Sure, you get a college education, but with the health risks of major injuries including concussions, it seems like a pretty raw deal to me.

My solution? Cap coaches salaries and let players share in conference profits using a simple formula such as all players with 51% playing time get x% and all others on the team get y%.

The idea that Division 1 football players are amateurs is a silly fiction the adults tell the kids so that the adults can get rich off the kids.

bunker_hill#300251 writes:

in response to southernbelle79:

It is tough to be a Division 1 athlete. Coaches can make millions off your talent. Schools can make millions off your talent. If you get hurt, or you aren't big enough or fast enough, you never get a chance to make anything off your talent.

Sure, you get a college education, but with the health risks of major injuries including concussions, it seems like a pretty raw deal to me.

My solution? Cap coaches salaries and let players share in conference profits using a simple formula such as all players with 51% playing time get x% and all others on the team get y%.

The idea that Division 1 football players are amateurs is a silly fiction the adults tell the kids so that the adults can get rich off the kids.

So what % do the rowers, soccer, golf and volleyball teams get? That's why it will never work cause you can't pay everyone.

I do agree with capping coaching salaries, but that will never work cause schools will just get around it with "incentivies" and say his base salary is the agreed upon amount but the "tv and shoe deals" kick in more money.

VolsFanInAfghanistan writes:

What stinks is Manziel will ruin the chances of other freshmen winning the Heisman Trophy. He's supposed to be an ambassador for all of college football and the only thing he's shown is his immaturity. I know innocent until proven guilty, but he's not doing anything to help his case. Wheres the Coaches and seniors? Why aren't they sitting on this guy and telling him to cool it. Now all the college football fans have to deal with this type of standoffs from their favorite players. I feel truly bad for TNboy72 for driving so far to be disappointed by the new rules that are being instituted without any formal warning.

volnvette03 writes:

in response to bunker_hill#300251:

So what % do the rowers, soccer, golf and volleyball teams get? That's why it will never work cause you can't pay everyone.

I do agree with capping coaching salaries, but that will never work cause schools will just get around it with "incentivies" and say his base salary is the agreed upon amount but the "tv and shoe deals" kick in more money.

Good question! However, make it based on how much % their sport generates!

alfred writes:

The athletes were only allowed to sign things issued by U T and personalize them in order to prevent resale yet they charged to get into this event.

NINEisgonnabeFINE writes:

What ut player's autograph is worth anything? I love how 'Bama Hart, Lyle, and ut follow what the big boys do.

We won't beat 'em on the field but we darn sure sign autographs with the best of 'em!

EIGHT!

NowHearThis writes:

Palardy?

Who in their right mind would want his autograph? In the history of UT football I doubt there has ever been as big a failure at the kicking position.

Giverny writes:

This is how schools, government agencies and to a lesser extent the private sector deal with complex situations...by defaulting to a 'zero tolerance mindset' policy rather than finding a effective way to manage it...

If that's the way they choose to manage leadership should be replaced with 'clerical personnel' which is not required to provide innovative leadership and vision and paid accordingly...

TheFuj writes:

UT is way over reacting about autographs. It is obvious Manziel was paid for autographs as he sat down and signed many pictures.
Getting one item signed at a event is a whole different thing.
Second, there is not one UT player that could even make money selling things. Not trying to down the players, that is just a fact.
I am glad I did not drive 3 hours to attend this event. Have went every year for past 15 years. Called yesterday and said event was sold out. Glad it was.

5knights writes:

Let me get this straight- A university makes stringent rules to keep players from profiting from autographs. They then charge $10 for adults, $6 for children to attend this autograph session? Come on, Man!!! UT Athletic department is looking like a blood-sucking leach to me. The autograph session should be free- a way to create good-will with the fans. Players learn by example. Here they learn "we're (athletic department) gonna get ours, and we own you"

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to volnvette03:

Good question! However, make it based on how much % their sport generates!

Since most college sports don't make any money for the school, and in fact, most of them actually lose money (football and/or basketball pay for all of them), wouldn't that mean you have to be making most of the athletes pay?

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

Kneejerk reaction. How about just having the rule about all the autographs having to be personalized without the rest of the BS? Why can't little Joey get his football signed by his favorite player, as long as the player writes something like, "To Joey, my favorite fan. Go Vols!"?

brokebackvol writes:

in response to TNboy72:

I was at this event tonight. My son and I drove all the way from Charlotte and it was quite the disappointment for him. We had an autograph ball like we usually do and were told we could not have it autographed, but the players could autograph a UT poster provided. Said poster was of Butch Jones with a black background. With a black sharpie, there was little room for signatures. To top it off, Curt Maggitt and AJ Johnson were not even allowed to sign. I understand the premise, but this just ruins it for the kids. To top it off, the event was much shorter than the previous 3 years we have attended and we barely had time to even get to the players. It was disappointing to explain to my 10 year old that he could not get his ball signed or have his favorite players even sign the poster. Now I see in this article where Hart says “We’ll find ways for people to interact, but not necessarily with the players.” Not with the players??? Fans can’t even be around players anymore? Ridiculous.

I hate that for your son - indeed, a big disappointment. Why didn't the UTAD issue a press release on the new restrictions before the event??

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to TNboy72:

I was at this event tonight. My son and I drove all the way from Charlotte and it was quite the disappointment for him. We had an autograph ball like we usually do and were told we could not have it autographed, but the players could autograph a UT poster provided. Said poster was of Butch Jones with a black background. With a black sharpie, there was little room for signatures. To top it off, Curt Maggitt and AJ Johnson were not even allowed to sign. I understand the premise, but this just ruins it for the kids. To top it off, the event was much shorter than the previous 3 years we have attended and we barely had time to even get to the players. It was disappointing to explain to my 10 year old that he could not get his ball signed or have his favorite players even sign the poster. Now I see in this article where Hart says “We’ll find ways for people to interact, but not necessarily with the players.” Not with the players??? Fans can’t even be around players anymore? Ridiculous.

This article and your comment very much concern me, because they show that UTAD is apparently still being run by a bunch of nitwits. No planning, no thought, just a heavy-handed new policy.

How much was your son planning to pay each player to get his autograph? Nothing, of course. So I don't understand what Tennessee's problem was.

The only part I understand is personalizing everything, to get rid of the non-fans who just want something signed so that they can try to resell it on eBay.

stevefrommemphis writes:

Actually, if the only concern is that the players not receive pay for autographs, even UT's rule that everything be personalized is misguided. Hey, UTAD, the NCAA's concern is not that some guy would try to sell something on eBay. Their concern is that the player would make money selling autographs.

Another typical debacle from UTAD, sort of like the safety plan that had UT closing the gates at the Montana game and leaving late-arriving fans in a severe thunderstorm.

volhome writes:

in response to Giverny:

This is how schools, government agencies and to a lesser extent the private sector deal with complex situations...by defaulting to a 'zero tolerance mindset' policy rather than finding a effective way to manage it...

If that's the way they choose to manage leadership should be replaced with 'clerical personnel' which is not required to provide innovative leadership and vision and paid accordingly...

You win the prize for that post. Within the last couple of years where I work we have had a couple of people do some really stupid things. They resulted in 'changes in policies' that affect the entire workforce, when all that needed to happen was for them to be reprimanded. Since they were safety issues, warnings of caution could have been issued to the rest of us, problem addressed.

You will never take stupid people and stupid actions out of life. To respond to both stupidly just compounds the situation. Again, shame on UT. This seems to be a common thread in my posts about how the UTAD is handling everything lately.

gc_scvol writes:

Punish the rich kid who has no respect for authority and not the Kids. Take away Manzeil's amateur status if you can prove he signed autographs for money. Let him be exposed to the real world for a change. Don't change the entire process to accomodate one dumb arse.

HallowedHill writes:

I hope that Manziel is banned from college football, but if the NCAA caves to public opinion, I hope every D-Lineman and LB in the SEC plow that punk, Manziel under this year.

rbwtn writes:

We never had this problem before Why do we suddenly have it Now? It's called "Control" from the Very Old thinking NCAA who wants to make the money and not share it with the ones that make it for them the Student. That's stinking thinking and could begin the end of the NCAA as we know it today.

SBWB2 writes:

in response to NowHearThis:

Palardy?

Who in their right mind would want his autograph? In the history of UT football I doubt there has ever been as big a failure at the kicking position.

First time I have seen a photograph of him... Now I understand why he is so terrible.

shulessjo writes:

The timing of this stinks....not what or how the University handled it. True, it may be an over reaction as interpreted by so many but unfortunately in today's climate, it seems wiser to err on the side of "over" rather than "under" until you are able to analyze all the facts. I doubt THE LAST THING Tennessee football intended to do was to discourage fans given all the Butch Jones Vols have done to this point.

865fan writes:

FYI...Florida did the same thing at their recent player autograph session.
Not defending UTAD at all because they should have given advance notice of what would and would not be allowed. But, since some posters seem to be thinking that this is something only the idiots in the UT athletic dept. would do, wrong! Johnny has changed it for everyone and all schools are having kneejerk reactions.
I agree with poster who said any item should be signed if it is personalized. That should solve the problem.
I'm sure this kneejerk policy will be tweaked when there is more time to think it thru and come up with a good plan. But, for now it is a shame folks paid to be surprised by rules and disappointed.

EastTnVols962 writes:

I understand a lot of your all's frustrations, but based on what we've been through the past few years, and the fact that the NCAA is just itching to bust somebody, I'd say we should be respectful of this new policy. I do believe UTAD should have tried to inform the public a long time prior to the event. It is unfortunate that these things have to happen. I love a good autograph just as everybody else, but in reality who are they for? They're for the person getting it. I think I can sacrifice that if it means keeping our school, program, and players out of trouble with the NCAA. I do feel bad for the guy's son who posted above though. I think any exception made should at least be for the kids.

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

First thing's first. Let's drive up the demand for player autographs and then worry about them winding up in a broker's hands. It's pretty easy to do. Just win some games, fellas!

Just over a week to go! GBO!

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to southernbelle79:

It is tough to be a Division 1 athlete. Coaches can make millions off your talent. Schools can make millions off your talent. If you get hurt, or you aren't big enough or fast enough, you never get a chance to make anything off your talent.

Sure, you get a college education, but with the health risks of major injuries including concussions, it seems like a pretty raw deal to me.

My solution? Cap coaches salaries and let players share in conference profits using a simple formula such as all players with 51% playing time get x% and all others on the team get y%.

The idea that Division 1 football players are amateurs is a silly fiction the adults tell the kids so that the adults can get rich off the kids.

We both agree the current system is messed up but I will disagree that it's a raw deal for (most) D-1 athletes. There are 170,000 D-1 athletes and how many of those participate in sports generating millions for their schools? If you assume that 60 D-1 schools make millions with football and basketball, that is approx. 6,000 athletes (60* 85 + 60 *13) or less than 4%. That is not even counting D2 or D3 student athletes.

I don't think there is a correct answer out there. If you give the players a stipend, that will not reduce cheating one bit. You think a $250 monthly stipend would stop Johnny Cash (Football). That wouldn't cover his bar tab. I think it's hypocritical that the school makes money off the players images without paying them but if you let players make money off their images, could you imagine the cheating that would occur? Bama players would be getting majors in autograph signing.

usafvol writes:

in response to SBWB2:

First time I have seen a photograph of him... Now I understand why he is so terrible.

What are you, 12? Quit acting so stupid like the rest of the bottom feeder trolls on here. You and the rest like you will probably wind up working at Burger King when you're in your 50's..

Nighthawk writes:

At UTAD functions, players should be allowed to sign ANY item as long as it is just one per person.
Note to Hart: It's not likely that a player is going to bring a stack of jerseys to a UTAD event and take cash under the table. Get real here. Your are punishing the fans who are the reason you have a job.

NINEisgonnabeFINE writes:

in response to 865fan:

FYI...Florida did the same thing at their recent player autograph session.
Not defending UTAD at all because they should have given advance notice of what would and would not be allowed. But, since some posters seem to be thinking that this is something only the idiots in the UT athletic dept. would do, wrong! Johnny has changed it for everyone and all schools are having kneejerk reactions.
I agree with poster who said any item should be signed if it is personalized. That should solve the problem.
I'm sure this kneejerk policy will be tweaked when there is more time to think it thru and come up with a good plan. But, for now it is a shame folks paid to be surprised by rules and disappointed.

FYI...Florida has been doing it this way (posters only) since SOS was there.

BTKidd writes:

in response to Nighthawk:

At UTAD functions, players should be allowed to sign ANY item as long as it is just one per person.
Note to Hart: It's not likely that a player is going to bring a stack of jerseys to a UTAD event and take cash under the table. Get real here. Your are punishing the fans who are the reason you have a job.

"Bama Dave" has been punishing UT fans ever since he arrived. It's only going to get worse.

123forVOLS writes:

I get all the flap over this and try to see both sides. What gets me is players having to deal with all the distractions and junk blown out of proportion, ie JohnnyFBCashSignMe/PayMe etc. There is no easy answer on the pay/play/generate money for the schools issue. But if that occurs, amateur collegiate football will be dead. Our info-fetish in today's world dictates all the publicity of the negativism for someone like Manziel. That in turn fuels the varied responses such as this kneejerk reaction at the University of Tennessee. That is sad and ruins it for many but likely will be more the rule than exception in days ahead. I am glad to be named among the unautograph crowd who just like to see the guys play football.

antonio14313 writes:

the NCAA stinks.

t

linebam writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

Actually, if the only concern is that the players not receive pay for autographs, even UT's rule that everything be personalized is misguided. Hey, UTAD, the NCAA's concern is not that some guy would try to sell something on eBay. Their concern is that the player would make money selling autographs.

Another typical debacle from UTAD, sort of like the safety plan that had UT closing the gates at the Montana game and leaving late-arriving fans in a severe thunderstorm.

Right on the Money, Steve (if you'll pardon the pun). The article quotes "(p)er NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.1, student-athletes may not accept money for promotion or sale of a product or service"; unless the fans were paying the players directly for their autograph or (heaven forbid) the UTAD was splitting the attendance fees with the players, then the players should have been able to sign anything for anybody. If someone chooses to re-sale the item (on e-bay, for example), then the burden of proof that the money was going back to the player would fall on the legal system. If proved then, yes, the player should be declared ineligible. I would bet that these would be very rare cases; the average fan would be just proud and happy to only display the item on his/her mantle.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Lots of good posts here and I agree it seems like a knee jerk follow the crowd reaction; especially when your talking about a 10 year old kid. In the 90's I went to many UofM fan days that were held on the field of the Old Orange Bowl and met some football legends there. I got to meet LB Jesse Armstead who went on to have a long career with the Giants..Jesse was hands down the most vicious hitters in Canes history but was so humble and soft spoken you could barely talk to him.He was a total pussycat in every way..One year I got the autograph from this doofus; nobody frosh TE who looked like a lost mutt. Turned out to be Rob Chudinski who is now Head Coach of the Browns.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

in response to NINEisgonnabeFINE:

What ut player's autograph is worth anything? I love how 'Bama Hart, Lyle, and ut follow what the big boys do.

We won't beat 'em on the field but we darn sure sign autographs with the best of 'em!

EIGHT!

NINE is your age and IQ; MORON!

mikethehistorystudent writes:

This is a stupid knee-jerk reaction by UT.

mikethehistorystudent writes:

in response to TNboy72:

I was at this event tonight. My son and I drove all the way from Charlotte and it was quite the disappointment for him. We had an autograph ball like we usually do and were told we could not have it autographed, but the players could autograph a UT poster provided. Said poster was of Butch Jones with a black background. With a black sharpie, there was little room for signatures. To top it off, Curt Maggitt and AJ Johnson were not even allowed to sign. I understand the premise, but this just ruins it for the kids. To top it off, the event was much shorter than the previous 3 years we have attended and we barely had time to even get to the players. It was disappointing to explain to my 10 year old that he could not get his ball signed or have his favorite players even sign the poster. Now I see in this article where Hart says “We’ll find ways for people to interact, but not necessarily with the players.” Not with the players??? Fans can’t even be around players anymore? Ridiculous.

Yeah, this is stupid. Hart has made a poor call. Vols football is on the comeback and Hart is putting on the breaks. Getting a helmet or football signed is no big deal. Stupid....

mikethehistorystudent writes:

in response to bunker_hill#300251:

So what % do the rowers, soccer, golf and volleyball teams get? That's why it will never work cause you can't pay everyone.

I do agree with capping coaching salaries, but that will never work cause schools will just get around it with "incentivies" and say his base salary is the agreed upon amount but the "tv and shoe deals" kick in more money.

Exactly! Paying the players is a bad idea. Anyone hear of TITLE IX? If we pay male and not female athletes then we're headed to court. HI HO, HI HO, it's off to COURT we go!

volboy81 writes:

Thanks Johnny Football. Your actions as a spoiled brat rich kid hurts thousands of people. I hope A&M goes 0-12 this year (make that 1-11...Beat Bama!)

ClearVol writes:

Its amazing that some moronic players cannot get it through their heads that taking money for your autograph is simply NOT allowed, selling your jersey for money is simply NOT allowed!?!?!. How hard is that? Now, the fans continue to suffer because of it. This new policy, however, is absolutely ridiculous and will cost even more fan loyalty and passion.. You're affecting the kids and future football fans here guys...

GOJO writes:

in response to EastTnVols962:

I understand a lot of your all's frustrations, but based on what we've been through the past few years, and the fact that the NCAA is just itching to bust somebody, I'd say we should be respectful of this new policy. I do believe UTAD should have tried to inform the public a long time prior to the event. It is unfortunate that these things have to happen. I love a good autograph just as everybody else, but in reality who are they for? They're for the person getting it. I think I can sacrifice that if it means keeping our school, program, and players out of trouble with the NCAA. I do feel bad for the guy's son who posted above though. I think any exception made should at least be for the kids.

I have no problem with the policy. It is the way the University handled it. Sell a ticket, get the money, and then when a family makes a long drive, with kid in tow, say, "you can't get that for which you thought you paid.
If there is a change in policy, let it be known early. What they did was equal to me thinking I had bought a ticket to a U.T. - Ala game, getting to my seat & finding Austin Peay warming up.

A PR nightmare for UT

Rebelnicky04 writes:

We too were at the event tonight with my daughter who is a toddler. My husband was unable to attend the event due to a scheduling conflict so my daughter and I went to get him some autographs and a couple of pics since it was supposed to be a surprise for him. The event was SO short that if you ate you literally did NOT have time to stand in line and get autographs from the 5-6 players they allowed to sign things AND Butch Jones. Truthfully the only people I saw getting posters signed by everyone were the people working the event. I also thought it was in very poor taste that there was not more time to interact with players at all. You weren't even allowed any pics with players and especially Butch Jones in the autographing area. The only way you actually got pics was if you interrupted players while they were eating w/ their families and sadly we had to do that because we didn't get autographs. I hope they change a few things next year so people can actually feel like they interacted w/ the players instead of being shoved down an assembly line.

agentorange writes:

What if someone sells a restaurant receipt that they signed? Stupid. The NCAA and college football has been destroyed by the TV money. Fortunately, the O'Bannon case should go in the players' favors and finally let them get paid and allow them have representation at every level like everyone else in America. The days of profiting off mainly, poor uneducated kids are hopefully over.

ClearVol writes:

in response to NINEisgonnabeFINE:

What ut player's autograph is worth anything? I love how 'Bama Hart, Lyle, and ut follow what the big boys do.

We won't beat 'em on the field but we darn sure sign autographs with the best of 'em!

EIGHT!

Ahh, you so jealous grasshoppa..

For all that care, normally at bama, Georgia, fu etc. when their teams are down, so is the fan support. No flags on cars, jerseys in the trash, complaining about the visitors band playing the fight song too much etc, etc.. Its hard for outsiders to understand that a Tennessee fan is a fan no matter the recent winning record.

ClearVol writes:

in response to shulessjo:

The timing of this stinks....not what or how the University handled it. True, it may be an over reaction as interpreted by so many but unfortunately in today's climate, it seems wiser to err on the side of "over" rather than "under" until you are able to analyze all the facts. I doubt THE LAST THING Tennessee football intended to do was to discourage fans given all the Butch Jones Vols have done to this point.

In my opinion, Mr. Hart owes the people who paid money to stand in line to NOT have their helmets, footballs and other "personal" memorabilia signed a personal apology for handling this badly. This, at the very least, might show some signs of remorse for not letting them know about the changes prior to the event or paying money.. 1600 people? How about a couple free tickets to Homecoming??

SevenT writes:

What is the point of all this nonsense. Not nobody would pay to have anyone on UT's team sign an autograph

ewhite#207432 writes:

Over reaction by the Athletic Dept. Unnecessary. Do we have any common sense left in the UT Athletic Dept.? At least Hart is getting the idea about some of the ticket prices in the upper deck.

volistic writes:

I think I have an idea that might be better. Why not just tell the players that they can't get paid for autographs?

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