“Famous Jameis” has a supporter in the “Golden Bear” when it comes to being stormed for autographs.
Jack Nicklaus says that critics are unfairly “hammering” Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston over the sale of autographed merchandise and that it would be impossible for Winston to know where everything he autographs ends up. (Nicklaus’ grandson Nick O’Leary plays tight end for the Seminoles.)
Winston is under investigation for violating NCAA rules for signing and selling signed memorabilia, but so far there isn’t any evidence that Winston was paid for his autograph. Nicklaus told the Palm Beach Post that he could relate to what the redshirt sophomore quarterback is going through.
“I just hate to see them hammering a 20-year-old kid,” Nicklaus said. “Has he made mistakes? Maybe. But you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, I think. Not charged and convicted and sentenced.
“I wonder how many autographs I have out there. Every game I go to I sign, probably 20 or 25 [people] and four or five each. Start adding that up. And he’s a lot more available than I am. He’s not the only kid with a couple thousand out there. A bunch of those kids have to have a couple thousand.”
This article was originally posted on Oct. 20, 2014.