As much as I hate even linking to this non-sense, the T-Town Menswear story has become a "sort of story" with local media checking it out and UA now forced to actually comment on it beyond "yeah, we took care of that months ago." The question we all have to ask ourselves right now is "do I trust Alabama's Compliance Department more than a couple of professional trolls with facebook accounts?"
"Our compliance people have been on top of this for a long time. I think this is an example of...it's not a violation if you sign a shirt for somebody, you just can't receive compensation for it. We've done a cease and desist with this establishment a long time ago to make sure everybody understands what players can and can't do," UA coach Nick Saban told Ian Fitzsimmons of ESPN Radio 103.3 in Dallas. "You know, I guess I could ban our players from the place but until somebody can sorta convince me that somebody is doing something wrong - which I haven't been convinced of yet - I don't know if that's fair to our players."
"Due to the concerns expressed in our letter to Mr. Albetar dated March 31, 2011, we disassociated him from our program," Alabama associate athletic director of compliancesaid in a news release. "As we always do in matters of this nature, we discussed this matter with the SEC Office. Because we found no evidence of any NCAA violation, we did not self-report a violation. UA will continue to be proactive in all areas of compliance monitoring."In the dissociation letter, Alabama said Albetar cooperated in an interview with the university and appeared to be compliant with NCAA rules. The university expressed a concern with the "display of memorabilia indicating a relationship with several University of Alabama student-athletes.""Your conduct and interaction with student-athletes, as well as that of your employees, has been appropriately reviewed, and appears to be compliant with NCAA regulations," the letter states.
The letter signed by Director of Athletics Mal Moore to Albetar stated: "Given the numerous items of memorabilia displayed in your store, including at times, some belonging to or signed by current student-athletes, you have potentially placed the University and its student-athletes at risk. This risk includes exposing our student-athletes to potential NCAA investigations or sensationalized journalism based on assumptions that wrongdoing has taken place."
The cease-and-desist letter Alabama sent to T-Town Menswear in December would seem to be in relation to another statute, NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52, which requires student-athletes or their institutions to take steps to stop the use of their names or pictures as promotional items when done without their knowledge.
An Alabama compliance office investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of any UA players in the matter but still didn't take any chances, disassociating Albetar in March.
Albetar, who was not deemed a booster but reportedly had sideline passes during recent seasons, is barred from having contact with or obtaining any memorabilia or autographs from UA players. No word on what he'll do now for advertising or interior decor.
Former University of Alabama defensive end Luther Davis has agreed to a contract with the NFL's Buffalo Bills as an undrafted rookie free agent, and is expected to sign the deal Tuesday. "I spent all night researching their roster and their depth chart," Davis said. "I talked with (former UA teammate) Marcell Dareus last night and they were both confident that if I come in and work, I can contribute."
"When we look at players, we have critical factors that we look at for every position," Saban said. "And for defensive backs, it’s ball skills, tackling and can you judge the ball in the deep part of the field? Robert Lester really played corner in high school and was probably speed deficient for that position. But had good enough size that we thought he could play safety. He lacked in none of the critical factors."
Among the coaches who watched Moody were Louisiana State's Trent Johnson, UCLA's Ben Howland and Alabama's Anthony Grant. The Crimson Tide was the only major Division I team to call the Moody house and express interest before this week, though Northern Florida had also called. No scholarships had been offered. When it comes to choosing a college, Moody won't be picky. "I'll take any D-I offer I can get," said Moody, a soft-spoken, unassuming sort who will be a senior this fall at Kissimmee (Fla.) Poinciana High.