With allegations so legitimate and undoubtedly supported by indisputable facts, not surprisingly it took UA Compliance all of about 18 hours to completely debunk the latest Brent Calloway rumors. Per even the most biased, unqualified, traditional news media hack in the entire state:
By Friday, Alabama compliance officials were on the ground in Russellville, where Calloway is finishing his senior year of high school, to interview people close to him.
By Saturday, according to a source close to the situation, Alabama's investigation had determined that, at this point, the school has found no reason to self-report any violations in Calloway's recruitment and doesn't expect any such reason to surface.
Big relief, eh folks? You can step back off that ledge now and carry on about your normal routine. I know we will all have to re-consider our world view now that a glorified Auburn message board rumor about Alabama's alleged cheating practices did not come to fruition, but even so you'll now be able to do that with the peace and comfort of knowing that, no, the death penalty is indeed not on its way to Tuscaloosa. Shockingly enough, it turns out that Auburn graduate who makes a living convincing really dumb people to pay him to tell them what they want to hear -- when he is not moonlighting in erotic literature, anyway -- was somewhat misinformed.
In all seriousness, though, this should be the expected end result here. Even if you assume we are paying players, why would we ever pay Brent Calloway? Quite frankly, unless Calloway gets serious about moving to the defensive side of the ball and sets aside the notion of playing tailback -- something that admittedly may never happen -- I'm not convinced we should have even signed him, much less paid to sign him. If you want to say we paid someone like Julio Jones, fair enough, that's at least a feasible possibility given his raw ability and his expected level of production, but a guy like Brent Calloway? Give me a break.
Besides, I personally find all of these allegations highly insulting. We've heard for decades now about how we control the New York Times, ESPN, the in-state media, and how the supposedly free world really just operates at the whim and direction of the REC. And now we supposedly paid this kid a whopping $2,500? What, did his kid sister need braces? Did his mother's car need a new intake manifold? Did he need to finish paying for his senior trip to Cancun? Where the hell is the Cadillac Escalade with 22-inch rims, the $15,000 stereo system, and the briefcase filled with $200,000 worth of unmarked bills? This is what our once great Evil Empire has apparently been reduced to? I mean, good grief, even if we shelled out this kind of money to him every single month, his family could still damn near qualify for Medicaid. What kind of nickel-and-dime pay-for-play operation is this? What happened to our vast pay-for-play financial resources? Did we have Bernie Madoff controlling how the university endowment was invested? If anything, based on this it sounds like we need a bailout from the Fed just to be able to get our pay-for-play expenditures back up to the level of a living wage for our players.
Believe it or not, I actually relish all of the conspiratorial 'Bama-controls-the-world discussion, but at least give us credit for doing it big, not this penny ante nonsense. You want to vilify my university? Great, but at least have the common courtesy to build it up as the equivalent of Pablo Escobar, not just some low-life, entry-level street peddler in inner-city Birmingham getting it done one $20 bill at a time. Personally, I think some of the conspiracy theorists are just losing their touch.