Let's start off the JP with a quick detour through Bizarro World.
He's been at Bama a week, and I know I should be used to it, but it is still really weird to see Kiffin in Bama gear. Also of note, that pic was snapped while Kiffin was making a visit to recruit current Auburn commit Racean "Roc"Thomas. Roc is a five star running back that Bama didn't really pursue early in the process. Now it seems Bama may have warmed to Thomas, but it will all but certainly be too little, too late, as recruits in Thomas' position tend to feel a bit disrespected and stick with the school that showed them love first (a la FSU quarterback Jacob Coker).
Jimmy Sexton, who is Mosley's agent, spoke on WNSP-FM 105.5's "Afternoon Sports Drive with Mark and Randy" on Wednesday after the appearance of an AL.com story in which Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said he doubted Mosley would play in the 2014 game, citing the linebacker's secure draft position.
Sexton also cited that as a reason Mosley would bypass the Senior Bowl. Mosley's probable draft position is considered to be in the first half of the first round in the NFL Draft on May 8, and his performance at the Senior Bowl wasn't considered likely to change that.
This is a bit disappointing (especially as a Mobilian), but it is not really surprising. A guy in Mosley's position has little to gain by participating in the Senior Bowl, so it just makes sense to skip it.
Photos published of current Alabama football players signing autographs in Tom Albetar's T-Town Gallery store in the University Mall led the university to respond Thursday evening.
"We are aware of the story produced today," Alabama athletics director Bill Battle said. "As part of our ongoing compliance efforts, our compliance department looks into everything that warrants concern. That effort is diligent and all-encompassing, and requires constant communication and education regarding all potential issues."
The first report came from Outkickthecoverage.com's Clay Travis. He listed several items Albetar sold involving signatures from current Alabama athletes and memorabilia he says is game-used. Selling autographs of student athletes does not threaten their eligibility unless the players sold the autographs themselves. No direct evidence of that was presented in Travis' story.
Ugh. I didn't want to talk about this story, as Clay Travis is a troll of the highest (lowest?) order, and I have no desire to give him any clicks. In my opinion, the story is not a good look at all for the program, but there doesn't seem to be anything at all there to indicate proof of misconduct. There may well be violations related to this activity (because nobody signs tons of stuff for free (or don't we remember that argument against Johnny Manziel?)), but I think there is an extremely low probability that anything will come of this, as far as the NCAA is concerned.
If you need more reassurance, check this out:
Al-Betar, who received a disassociation letter from Alabama in March 2011 after displaying extensive Alabama football memorabilia in his T-Town store and taking pictures with players, said in a brief interview that fans from Alabama's Fan Day ”come in with stuff.”
“They don't belong to no football players,” Al-Betar said. “They sign it over there and they will come here. Most every year they do the same thing.”
When asked whether the volume of pictures suggests eligible players were involved, he said, ‘Hell No!” and asked what pictures CBSSports.com was referencing. He was directed to the contents of the Outkickthecoverage.com post and the Facebook page. “When people graduate they [sign],” Al-Betar said. “When they are in school nobody's in here.”
Al-Betar added, “This is ridiculous. There is nothing to worry about,” before wishing a good day and hanging up.
Hey, guy. Stop taking interviews. And just so you know, repeatedly saying "There's nothing to worry about" really makes it sound like there's something to worry about. Like I said, this is not a good look, but I think the most we're looking at here is some bad publicity for a bit.
In brighter news, David Cornwell (a 2014 signing class quarterback that has already enrolled and is on campus) posted a video to his instagram that shows he his mobility is progressing quite nicely, a mere 3 months removed from ACL surgery.