Continued from page 1

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said school officials have determined Miller had not profited from the numerous items found online with his signature. Smith said the quarterback signed many autographs at a Big Ten preseason kickoff luncheon. Presumably fans or memorabilia brokers then went and sold items they got autographed for free.

“We’ve already looked at it,” Smith said. “There’s no issue there.”

Louisville came to a similar conclusion.

“We are aware of many of the items for sale online that have been autographed by several of our student-athletes with remaining eligibility. As we are required to do by NCAA rules, we regularly review these items and send correspondence to the seller(s) requesting they remove the item for sale,” the school said in a statement. “We have and continue to educate our student-athletes that it is not permissible to accept any type of compensation for their autograph or the sale of memorabilia. We have spoken with Teddy Bridgewater and we are comfortable that no violation has occurred.”

Clowney, Bridgewater and Miller enter the season has prime contenders for the Heisman.

Manziel became the first freshman to win it last season. It’s unclear if an NCAA violation would cause the Heisman trust to reconsider Manziel’s victory.

Heisman Trust’s rules state: “The recipient must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA Student-Athlete.”

“The Heisman Trust never comments on speculation,” Heisman spokesman Tim Henning said Wednesday.

Reggie Bush’s 2005 Heisman Trophy was later vacated after the NCAA found he had received improper benefits during his winning season.

___

AP sports writers Pete Iacobelli in Columbia, S.C., and Rusty Miller in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.

___

Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP