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Louisville football players no longer allowed to sign autographs

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Call it the "Lamar Effect" or the "Heisman Effect" or whatever, but because of the increasingly shady ways that grown men sell merchandise autographed by superstar college players, U of L football announced Tuesday that it will no longer be letting any of its players sign autographs for fans.

"We decided to take this measure as more of a proactive approach to protect the eligibility of our student-athletes," a Louisville spokesperson said in a statement provided to ESPN. "Furthermore, certain steps needed to be taken to insure that third parties were not benefitting commercially on the signatures of the student-athletes."

In the last three years, two of college football's biggest stars -- Johnny Manziel and Todd Gurley -- have been punished because of incidents with autographs.

As much as I hate this for kids who could have their entire years made by getting a Lamar Jackson signature on a ball, this is probably a smart and necessary move from U of L given the current fervor surrounding its quarterback.