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Another Round With The T-Town Menswear Story

sign-here-signatureOn Thursday, the website OutkickTheCoverage.com took the lid off the ol’ “T-Town Menswear” story again.  The Tuscaloosa store has become well known for selling autographed memorabilia from Alabama football players.  The Tide fan who owns the store — Tom Al-Betar — has already been disassociated from the Bama football program and asked not to obtain any memorabilia, autographs or autographed memorabilia from current Crimson Tide football players.

Ah, but a look at his store shows autographed jerseys by Amari Cooper and TJ Yeldon for sale.  They are current members of the Alabama football team.  Whoops.

Al-Betar told CBSSports.com:

 

“When people graduate they (sign).  When they are in school nobody’s in here…

This is ridiculous.  There is nothing to worry about.”

 

According to Al-Betar, people get signatures from players during Alabama’s “Fan Day” and then bring the stuff in to T-Town Menswear.  Photographs of current players in the store and of memorabilia bearing current players’ signatures suggest otherwise.

Alabama AD Bill Battle offered this response:

 

“We are aware of the story produced today.  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.”

 

Our thoughts?  OK.  First, Al-Betar must not be a very bright guy.  If you post photos on your store’s Facebook page showing items bearing current players’ signatures you’re not exactly keeping a low profile.

Second, if the University of Alabama wants to prevent this — and that’s questionable seeing how their football players keep finding their way into Al-Betar’s store — it needs to get serious with Tide players.  Like this: “We find one photo or one autograph that places you in that store and you’ll sit for three games.”  That would end the T-Town Menswear connection lickety-split.  If — again if — Alabama isn’t using this as a way for its players to get a little sump’m sump’m under the table (or above the table thanks to the dimwittedness of Al-Betar).

Third, don’t expect very much to come of this.  The NCAA handed Johnny Manziel a half-game suspension to start last season.  As we stated at the time, the NCAA was setting a precedent.  From that point forward, the NCAA can simply hand out first-half suspensions whenever things like this comes up.

The Crimson Tide open with West Virginia in the Georgia Dome on August 30th.  They may be short in numbers for the first half of that game.  All because one Bama fan, several Bama players, and the Bama administration don’t seem to really understand what the word “disassociate” means.

Alabama — along with Mississippi State and Tennessee — still awaits word from the NCAA regarding a Yahoo! Sports story last year that claimed players at each school received illegal benefits from agents and runners for agents.  It’s becoming pretty obvious post-Miami investigation that the NCAA is throwing up its hands more often when it comes to athletic scandals.

 


4 comments
the_voice
the_voice

The police don't pull you over for going 36 in a 35 zone, but try going 70 in that same zone and you'll likely have the opportunity to meet Officer Friendly. It is time for the NCAA to give immunity to those who have received impermissible benefits it in the past and start doing something to really enforce or eliminate the rules of the organization. Laws and rules that are not enforced embolden people to break even more of them. Maybe a loss of scholarship (full or partial) instead of eligibility might have an effect on those who are greed motivated.

bmatlock5
bmatlock5

Can someone please tell me how the average everyday fan can get game used apparel to get autographed.  I have seen some scrub jerseys on Ebay and UTSPORTS used to sell scrub jerseys and cleats on its website, but I never saw players like the ones this guy has.  Can I just call the athletic office and ask the to send me a game used Marquez North jersey and they will do it?  That seems to be how it is done at Alabama.  I don't know who is dumber, the players who deal with this guy or the fans who cannot understand how this should be a violation

gregpomeroy1
gregpomeroy1

@bmatlock5Tennessee is waiting on  punishment from the NCAA for its own violations.  Don't throw rocks.  You live in a glass house house.

bmatlock5
bmatlock5

@gregpomeroy1 @bmatlock5 Help me understand which violations we are waiting on punishment for?  The incident with Maurice Couch, Tyler Bray, and lest we forget Alabama OL DJ Fluker?  Bray and Fluker should get the same punishment, and Couch got the death penalty when at the same time Hasean Clinton-Dix for like 2 games for taking money from a coach.  Alabama fans seem to look at this as a non-story and someone out to get them.  Hopefully for your sake, your right.  SMU didn't think there was a problem either.

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