USC clears Marqise Lee after investigating autographs

USC is in the process of sending a cease-and-desist letter to a memorabilia dealer to keep him from selling autographs wide receiver Marqise Lee signed during a trip to Miami for the BCS national championship game, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.

"USC recently received an inquiry that floated Marqise Lee's name and the autograph signing situation in Miami that has been in the news lately," vice president of athletic compliance Dave Roberts said in a statement, referencing the investigation into Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. "As is USC's policy, USC immediately and diligently investigated the inquiry. ... USC has determined there was no NCAA infraction."

Lee also issued a statement through USC.

"I believed that the individual who asked me to sign the photos was a fan and collector," Lee said. "I did not ask to be paid, I was not offered anything, I did not get anything and I did not authorize my autographs to be sold."

Given USC's success in the last decade and the policy of open practices under former head coach Pete Carroll, Trojan players running through a gauntlet of autograph seekers was a common sight until the school cracked down in the last few years.

With a renewed focused on autographs sales in the wake of the recent Manziel revelations, expect a wave of cease-and-desist demands from schools across the country in days to come.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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