FSU: No evidence yet of payment

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Florida Statesaid Friday its athletic department compliance staff is reviewing the reported authenticated signatures by Jameis Winston, but has yet to find evidence that the star quarterback accepted payment for the autographs.

ESPN reported Thursday that more than 2,000 authenticated signatures by Winston have been found on the James Spence Authentication website.

"At this time we have no information indicating that he accepted payment for items reported to bear his signature, thereby compromising his athletics eligibility," athletic director Stan Wilcox said in a statement. "The fact that items appear on an Internet site bearing the signature of a student-athlete does not singularly determine a violation of NCAA rules."

Winston has signed a tremendous number of autographs in public, particularly at baseball games, but the fact hundreds of signed jersey numbers and more than 50 signed jerseys, photos and mini-helmets were sequentially numbered by JSA's website suggests the possibility that the signatures might have come from an organized signing event.

A lawyer for JSA told ESPN's Darren Rovell that as of Friday at 7:50 p.m. ET, Florida State officials still had not contacted either the New Jersey or the Florida office of the authenticator.

Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters after the team's victory last weekend against Syracuse that Winston told him he did not get paid for signing the items. No one has publicly alleged Winston got paid for these items, unlike the case involving Georgiarunning back Todd Gurley, who has been suspended indefinitely while the school conducts an investigation into whether he got paid for doing private autograph signings.

"We have kept both the conference office and the NCAA apprised of our efforts on this matter," Wilcox said in the statement. "The University takes very seriously any and all allegations of potential rules violations and processes them in accordance with ACC and NCAA policies and procedures."

Information from ESPN's Darren Rovell was used in this report.

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