Former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia told a Charlotte radio station that he saw players get paid for autographs "all day every day" when he was playing for the Gamecocks.
“I am friends with a lot of players around the SEC and some of the stories they tell me, it makes the Todd Gurley thing seem insignificant by a long shot,” Garcia said.
“I think it is absolutely ridiculous that these kids can’t profit from their name, their likeness, and sign their name on their own jersey,” Garcia said. “I don’t understand that, and I really hope that that rule changes. I absolutely think that these guys deserve to get paid for their own (dang) autograph.”
According to Garcia, in one instance a player received $160,000 for the season for signing autographs.
Gurley, a junior, is currently suspended indefinitely, and head coach Mark Richt has said all week there's no update on his status or timetable for Gurley's return.
SI.com's Andy Staples reported that a person told Georgia that Gurley was paid $400 to sign 80 items of memorabilia in Athens, Ga., this past spring.
On Monday, it was reported that Florida State was also looking into the possibility that star quarterback Jameis Winston was paid for his autographs because items signed by him appeared in the same database that held the items Gurley allegedly signed for money.
Last season, then-Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was suspended for the first half of the Aggies' season opener after he was involved in a similar incident. Manziel expressed his support for Gurley this week.
Garcia played for South Carolina from 2007-11 and was the team's starting quarterback for much of his time with the team. He was suspended multiple times and eventually dismissed from the program during the 2011 season.
- Ben Estes