Pitt notebook: Autographs will be monitored closely
Pitt will place no new restrictions on people who want autographs at the school's annual Fan Fest, but officials will monitor the event Aug. 25 at Heinz Field carefully.
“Our consciousness has been raised about this particular issue,” said E.J. Borghetti, senior associate athletic director.
A problem arose across college football this year when Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M was accused of taking money for signing 4,400 items for three brokers in three states in a one-month span, according to ESPN.com.
Louisville has forbidden players from signing autographs, replacing its annual event with an open practice. Texas A&M will not allow players to sign anything but specially designed autograph cards.
Pitt won't be especially strict, but officials will keep their eyes open, Borghetti said.
“As always, we have certainly encouraged fans to not come with a boatload of items for the sake of other people who want autographs and want to meet our kids,” he said.
“At the same time, we are certainly going to be very cognizant of red flags. If someone shows up with 20 copies of the same image and doesn't want them personalized, then that obviously suggests it's not a personal keepsake and perhaps somebody has some other intentions.”
At West Virginia, officials took no chances last Sunday when players and coaches signed autographs for two hours. The school provided autograph sheets, posters and NCAA compliance handouts outlining regulations prohibiting the sale of items bearing the name of the athletes.
Only one item per person was permitted, and players were not allowed to pose for pictures.
Penn State players sign autographs several times throughout the year, but there are no formal restrictions on the number of items they can sign.
“Generally, in a home post-game situation, there would be a large enough group of fans that a player would only sign an item or two for one person,” spokesman Jeff Nelson said.
Running back Isaac Bennett hasn't practiced since last Friday after hurting his right knee, but coach Paul Chryst said he has not started to worry.
“Certainly you worry about all your players (who are injured),” he said. “He is doing everything he can (to return to practice).”
Cornerback K'waun Williams also was limited in practice while Chryst and his staff monitor an undisclosed injury. Overall, Williams has not missed much time at practice.
“We want to give him a little bit of a physical break,” Chryst said.
Coaches were vocal in their criticism at practice — no more than usual — but at one point Chryst called the team together to explain himself in clear terms.
Asked about it later, he smiled and called it “a good little family meeting. I was just seeing how they're doing.”
Some praise, too
The coach also had praise for his players, who have had only one day off since Aug. 6 and practiced twice Thursday.
“You get to a certain point in camp where you have to see some execution,” he said. “There was good execution and good learning. Guys are putting themselves into the moment, and they are learning the significance of the situation.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt’s Young leaves impression with inside game
- Notre Dame women shoot lights out in victory over Pitt
- Role change suiting Pitt’s Jones just fine
- Pitt’s rise coincides with improvement by sophomore forward Artis
- Clairton’s Titus Howard dismissed from Pitt football team
- Pitt’s weakness ‘pretty obvious’ to all
- Pitt basketball team ready for ACC stretch run
- With redshirt season over, Shady Side Academy grad Briggs looks to contribute for Pitt football team
- Pitt’s next 3 games will go long way in deciding NCAA Tournament fate