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Details Emerge From Mike Evans, Ref Autograph Controversy

Fantasy Football 5 Up, 5 Down: Mike Evans

Mike Evans

Following Sunday's game between the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an NFL officiating crew came under fire yet again — but not for roughing the passer penalties this time.

Video emerged that appeared to show two officials asking Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans for an autograph after the game.

The NFL, which expressly prohibits officials asking players for autographs or memorabilia, has since looked into it. 

Turns out, it was all a misunderstanding resulting from Evans wanting to take golf lessons.

"Full story: #Bucs WR Mike Evans and side judge Jeff Lamberth both went to Texas A&M, and Lamberth was getting Evans’ phone number to pass it along to a golf pro to give Evans lessons, per sources. Lamberth didn’t have paper, so he borrowed it from another official." -- Tom Pelissero

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Evans had told side judge Jeff Lamberth that he wanted to take golf lessons. Lamberth, who like Evans attended college at Texas A&M, got Evans' phone number so he could put him in touch with a golf pro.

Evans writing on a piece of paper after the game, understandably, looked like he was signing an autograph. And Pelissero reported that the NFL reminded Lamberth of "the importance of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety."

But it turns out Evans is just trying to lower his handicap. Nothing illegal about that.