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Posted on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor sports memorabilia expert: 'We would never touch a college guy'

By Jim Knight


A Michigan football jersey signed by Charles Woodson costs $270.44.

They’re all a bit different. Charles Woodson’s signature is low on the No. 2 Michigan jersey. Desmond Howard’s autograph is on the center of the two in “21,” and he added “’91 Heisman.” Jim Harbaugh angles his name up the No. 4 jersey.

The autographed jerseys of former Michigan football stars go for $125 to $270 and are easy to find on Brent Newhouse’s sports memorabilia website.

Current Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson isn’t there. Neither is guard Tim Hardaway Jr. from the Michigan basketball team. A search for gear or autographs from any current Michigan athlete comes up empty.

“We would never touch a college guy,” said Newhouse, a 38-year-old Ann Arbor man who operates “We know that’s the ultimate taboo thing.”

Newhouse, a former packaging supervisor at Pfizer, wasn’t surprised to field a question about college sports memorabilia. He expected as much in the wake of the NCAA investigations in the Ohio State football program that started with players receiving cash and tattoos in exchange for autographs and Buckeyes gear.

ESPN reported Terrelle Pryor earned $20,000 to $40,000 for autographs while he was a quarterback at Ohio State.


Memorabilia from Super Bowl-champion quarterback Aaron Rodgers is hot, Brent Newhouse said. An autographed jersey costs $375 to $400.

“That’s just stupid,” Newhouse said. “It makes no sense, and people should know better, especially if it’s a team you like. These are Buckeyes fans who ruined their team for years. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported last week, top-tier college football players can cash in for much more than $40,000 once they turn pro. And a player doesn’t have to wait long. Newhouse said he was among the first -- if not the first -- to have items for sale from recently-drafted defensive tackle Nick Fairley of the Detroit Lions.

Newhouse said he tries to work one on one with athletes to obtain autographed memorabilia. That’s why it’s rare for him to offer anything from former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady, who has an exclusive deal with a national dealer.

“It’s kind of a dicey, shady business,” Newhouse said. “Reputation is everything. I only work with athletes up close or guys I know.”

Woodson already was a top seller for Newhouse, and a Super Bowl victory enhanced that market. Newhouse said Woodson’s reputation as a community person who helps raise funds for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital is another reason fans want to own his jersey.

“I really can’t keep him in stock,” Newhouse said. “Even Ohio people (want it).”

Jim Knight is the sports director at He can be reached at 734-623-2551 or Follow him on Twitter @JimKnight62.



Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

Everybody should tell the NCAA to go where the sun don't shine. Look at one great example and part of the major problems in sports today. Lebron James wen't from high school to multi-millionaire. Instead of Nike and other big name companys giving all these millions to the schools let them give it to the players. If your grades aren't passing you don't get the money. If your conduct in public is not up standing you don't get the money. If you break the law you don't get the money. Our way of life has changed over the last couple of decades and people wan't more material things and that costs money So yes there are rules but the temptations in this day and age are more than most 20 year olds can handle. Plus these young men can sign a shirt or hat at a school function and then that shirt or hat can get sold by that second party and the athlete gets nothing that is not fair to that athlete, You can say what you wan't the NCAA is not a good thing . The schools should ban together and make the rules and have a board that consists of a member from each be the decision makers. if Stonum was getting a weekly pay check and it was a hard core fact that ih he got caught drinking no more check he probably wouldn'tbe where he is today.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 9:01 a.m.

Go to Ebay, Look up "Denard Robinson" and see what you get, 2 full pages of mini helmets, Collector footballs, 8x10's, 13x9's. Ooh and the sellers must be a bunch of little kids who got these signatures the old fashioned way, Right? Nope its memorabelia stores. Just sayen,,,,,,, Denard robinsons signature is being sold on ebay by dealers.......

David Vande Bunte

Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

as long as he didn't get paid for those signatures, everything is legal. If, the day after he graduates or leaves the University of Michigan, Denard Robinson sells his autograph for whatever amount of money he can get, that's fine. But as long as he is enrolled, as long as he is a scholarship athlete in the NCAA, he has to follow the NCAA rules.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

I think this is timely and on subject. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Did you see Pyor has an agent?


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 1:16 a.m.

There seems to be a divide on here between people that think the schools should pay the student athletes (in addition to their scholarships, etc) and people who think the student athletes should not be able to make any money off their status. I think there's a middle ground - why not let the players make money off their own names and achievements by doing deals with memorabilia dealers, etc. This is a deal done outside of school and the relationship between the school and the player...strictly between the player and the person willing to pay money (the dealer, the tattoo guy, whoever). That way it won't be a race to the top of who can pay student athletes more (and become another NY Yankees of college football) but would allow young people who've accomplished a lot make some money to support themselves off of their accomplishments.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

Once again, college prepares you for a career. Plenty of students do internships and research where others are making money off of them in the form of journal articles and patents. I went through college pretty broke, as did a lot of other people. Why not allow the atheltes to do some work study? Do their own laundry, sweep the stadiums, etc and make some pocket money for those efforts?


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 1:24 a.m.

@treetowncartel - I really think that probably wouldn't be much different from the same schools that have the most NFL recruiting attention, TV coverage, the schools people already want to go to...


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

No, it will just be a race to which schools have a better marketing department and boosters and alumni willing to part with their cash.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

I prefer the business of minor league baseball. Players are paid their fair market value each year for their effort. It's more like a 401k as you go than a pension that vests if your body survives long enough. College football is essentially the minor leagues for the NFL. They should organize them and pay them appropriately, just like the baseball minor leagues. If the players want fair market value cash for their effort, fine. If they want a tuition waiver, room, board, and a lesser amount of fair market value cash for their effort, fine. If every sport was run as minor leagues for a major league sport or as a niche major league, why would you have to pay the athletes equally? Popular sports mean the players get more money.

David Vande Bunte

Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

Yeah, but for the baseball players who go to college instead of the minor leagues, they still have to abide by the rules of the NCAA, don't they? Perhaps the NFL should set up a minor league football program that is completely distinct, like MLB has...but right now they don't have it. As long as colleges give free educations to these players, they have a reasonable expectation that those student athletes follow the rules.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 10:50 p.m.

College football is an apprenticeship. A long and important relationship between employer and future worker. The NCAA requires amateur status, which prevents college football from becoming a circus even more dominated by a handful of schools. The benefits are obvious. Thousands of kids receive scholarships, whereas only a few schools would provide them at all if the playing field were different. I have nothing against a tiny monthly stipend for athletes, but anything significant would be a barrier to providing scholarships at the mid-majors and below. All that's asked of the player is to follow the amateur status rules.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

It's truly amazing the amount of TP apologists there are out on the internet. The truth is TP is an adult, he has been for quite a while now. The evidence is overwhelming that he (for his own personal economic gain) chose to associate with a sleazeball tax cheat memorabilia dealer and a drug dealing tatoo parlor owner. How old does poor TP need to be before these people will demand he accept responsibility for his actions


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 10 p.m.

I'm glad to see this article on the site. D-Rob signing gear didn't even occur to me when I was reading about all the OSU stuff. But I'm happy to see at least one memorabilia seller knows not to even talk to CURRENT players. Although I do think football players deserve a little bit of extra money along with tuition and board, considering football players are essentially a modern-day form of gladiators, you can't do anything until the rules change. Whether you deserve it or not, it's still against the rules.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

How can anyone justify athletes getting money on these kind of things, when they already are getting a scholarship to Michigan for cryin' out loud!


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

Come on like this guy is gonna say, &quot;sure I'd buy a signed jersey froma a current player&quot;.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

Of course you wouldn't!


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

I think if they leave early for a professional sport and don't graduate they should pay the school back the entire amount.


Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 3:33 a.m.

If they end up getting paid, yes.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

Should this same standard be applied to all the myriad of non-athletic scholarship and grant students who bail and never graduate? Why should the athlete be held to a higher graduation rate than the overall student body?

Rabid Wolverine

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

They get paid Tuition, Room and board every year...

David Vande Bunte

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

Well, if they get injured, good thing they have that education that didn't cost them a dime to fall back on then, huh? Sorry...but when they can get the same college education for free that their peers have to shell out 50k plus on, you can't argue they aren't already receiving compensation for playing. But seriously, please explain to me the economics much would you pay each athlete? Where is the money going to come from? Keep in mind, there are hundreds of student athletes at any Division I university, and in order to be fair, you would need to pay all of them the exact same amount, regardless of sport. Title IX would guarantee that. How much is enough? Is there a magic threshold where you would say that the student athlete is paid enough per year? If an athlete thinks that the stipend you allow isn't big enough, what stops them from seeking revenue outside of the NCAA rules, similar to what is happening now? What guarantees do you have that paying the players will stop ANY cheating at all?

5c0++ H4d13y

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

Yea I'm sure they get a cut of the ad revenue and endorsement deals. All those 100s of millions of dollars sloshing around they get an education that they could have financed with student loans anyway. Should they get injured their senior year why by golly they can forego all that money they made for the schools, networks, sports equipment manufactures, beer distributers and feel so good about the degree they could have gotten on their own. The 60 hour weeks they put in on training and practice alone was all to build the character of the student athlete. It's good for them! Chin up boys while someone else cashes that billion dollar check! &amp;^$%ing crooks.

David Vande Bunte

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.

They also get to showcase their skills on television every Saturday, essentially a season long resume to get the attention of NFL scouts. So, in addition to the free education, free food and free living, they also get a professional recruiting service for free. I really love the people who claim they should get paid, without taking into account the true value of what they receive for their play. They also ignorantly assume that if you started to pay players, that the cheating would automatically stop...what a joke. Someone will always offer more than what you are getting paid to come to whatever school. Paying the players doesn't change a darn thing. Not only that, but you would have to pay all student athletes the same, or else you will have all kinds of lawsuits, Title IX violations, etc. How would the universities compensate for the increase in costs by paying athletes? Well, they would drop all non-profitable sports, because they are just a drain, and they would significantly raise ticket prices for all the sports they keep. They would have to. Congratulations, player payers, you are responsible for huge ticket price increases!

5c0++ H4d13y

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

oh so generous ... they should be grateful

5c0++ H4d13y

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 3:22 p.m.

God forbid the athletes make some money in this billion dollar industry!