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ESPN Report: Jameis Winston Autographs in Question

Jameis Winston 10/18/14
Posted at 4:44 PM, Nov 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-18 12:20:13-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - An autograph authentication company that has certified over a thousand items signed by Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston says that the items they received were rejected by an initial authentication firm due to legitimacy concerns, according to ESPN.

Anonymous sources spoke to ESPN about how James Spence Authentication got these particular items only after their competitor PSA/DNA backed out of a February signing with Winston. They said they backed out because they couldn't witness Winston actually sign the items in person.

Autographs were found in the James Spence Authentication database in October, and according to ESPN, the company's owner says that the items are authentic. ESPN says the items were all submitted by people who got the autographs through Florida memorabilia dealer Donnie Burkhalter.

ESPN was told that PSA/DNA sent someone to Tallahassee to witness and authenticate Winston's signatures. Winston was supposed to appear and sign the items. However, ESPN says that Winston did not show up.

ESPN says that Burkhalter, who was in attendance for this, says that Winston wanted to sign the items at apartment. However, it could not be in front of Burkhalter or the PSA/DNA representative. 

Because of this, sources told ESPN that PSA/DNA could no longer vouch for Winston autographs due to the suspicious manner of recieving them, as well as the fact that they found enough variations in the signatures that made the company uncomfortable.

James Spence Authentication has previously witnessed Jameis Winston's autographs in person.

In October, Florida State officials said that they were looking into the matter. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher says that Winston told him that he did not accept money for autographs.