Fisher believes Winston was not paid

ByJared Shanker ESPN logo
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said the university has spoken with the company that has authenticated more than 950 items with Jameis Winston's signature and is confident Winston did not receive money in exchange for autographing memorabilia.

On Monday,'s Darren Rovell and Mark Schlabach reported Florida State compliance was looking into how so many Winston autographs were authenticated by James Spence Authentication.

"Feel very good. Talked to [Jameis] and everything, people have talked to the owners of the company and different people, from what I understand," Fisher said. "We'll see.

"... They're sorting it out, but I feel very confident right now."

After last weekend's win against Syracuse, Fisher asked Winston if he signed autographs for money, to which Winston said he did not, reported Monday.

Fisher reiterated on Tuesday that Winston told him directly that he has not accepted money in exchange for signing memorabilia.

"He's never taken a dime from anything," Fisher said. "He's signed thousands of things. An hour and a half before a baseball game he signs, an hour and a half after the game. There's thousands of things out there with his name. He's very accommodating."

James Spence, founder of James Spence Authentication, told on Tuesday it is unlikely the more than 950 items were signed at different times and for a number of different fans.

"The way they are sequenced does mean they were submitted at the same time by a person," Spence said. "I can't imagine that fans would get together to do that."

JSA's website lists more than 950 Winston autographs -- on helmets, footballs, jerseys and more -- that had been authenticated and logged into the company's website verification system. Spence said he is "very confident" the Winston autographs sent to his company for verification are authentic.

JSA was the authenticator that certified more than 500 autographs by Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who last week was suspended by Georgia while the school investigates. Fisher said he couldn't speak to the specifics of Gurley's situation when asked to compare but again expressed his confidence Winston did not take any money.

"From what I understand [with Jameis] everything is great," Fisher said. "I'm not familiar with Todd's situation."

Florida State could consider changing its autograph policy in light of the Winston investigation, Fisher said.

"It may be you have to eliminate it. It's a shame, but you got to protect the [players]," he said. "We have to look at what we're doing. What's a shame is for the little kids whose dream is to get an autograph by one of the great players."

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