NCAA Autographs

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

2005 Football Effort: Now Time to Sit Back and Wait

The 2005 college football autograph requests went out to 25 different players across the country on Saturday. That is a much-reduced number from year ago when I sent out just over 100 autograph requests.

You may be wondering what the success rate is on this sort of thing. Last fall was a bit less successful than previous seasons, and part of that may be explained by the fact that some schools are becoming more and more wary of the NCAA and any affect this process could have on their players' eligibility if it is deemed inappropriate by the NCAA. I don't believe the players signing autographs violates any laws, but the NCAA has been known to make the rules up as they go.

In any case, I had 30 successes in 103 attempts in 2004, about a 29% success rate. I had generally experienced success rates of about 35-40% in past years. Still, if you calculate the $0.37 stamp it takes it mail each letter, the $0.37 stamp I include on each self-addressed envelope I enclose in each letter, and throw in $40 for supplies like envelopes, index cards, and printer ink, that total comes to less than $4 per autograph received. Therefore, I consider it a fairly cheap and rewarding hobby.

I sent each player two index cards; sometimes they return both, sometimes just one. Though it took an average of 50 days for the 30 to be returned last fall, 18 of them were returned in less than a month. Most of the rest were returned sometime during the season, while a few were not sent back to me until after the season was over, causing the average wait time to increase dramatically. It usually takes at least seven days for the first successes to show up in my mailbox. Here is the list of 25 contacts for 2005:

Matt Leinart (QB, Southern Cal), Omar Jacobs (QB, Bowling Green), Vince Young (QB, Texas), Reggie McNeal (QB, Texas A&M), Drew Tate (QB, Iowa), Jared Zabransky (QB, Boise State), Reggie Bush (RB, Southern Cal), Adrian Peterson (RB, Oklahoma), Patrick Cobbs (RB, North Texas), Jamario Thomas (RB, North Texas), Ted Ginn, Jr. (WR, Ohio State), Derek Hagan (WR, Arizona State), Tyler Palko (QB, Pittsburgh), Brian Brohm (QB, Louisville), Chad Henne (QB, Michigan), Mike Hart (RB, Michigan), Santonio Holmes (WR, Ohio State), Greg Lee (WR, Pittsburgh), Mathias Kiwanuka (DE, Boston College), Mario Williams (DE, NC State), Jimmy Williams (DB, Virginia Tech), Devin Hester (WR/DB, Miami), Ashlan Davis (WR, Tulsa), Steve Breaston (WR, Michigan), LenDale White (RB, Southern Cal).

When the successes begin to roll in, I'll provide daily updates on who's I have received, how long it took, whether or not they returned both index cards, and whether they included anything of their own as well.