Friday, April 8, 2011

The Alabama student-athlete and “A BRAND NEW CAR!”

image Yesterday, an Auburn writer made allegations that 2011 signee Brent Calloway had received improper benefits in exchange for his signature on a letter of intent to play football at the University of Alabama. The writer—Jeff Lee of—made a number of allegations, including allegations of cash payments and a new car.

The allegations were made on WNSP 105.5 during the station’s Morning Sports Center with Lee Shirvanian and Mark Heim.

Mr. Lee, in making those allegations, may have run afoul of federal law governing the privacy of individual financial data.  The short story: You can’t just go around collecting private citizen’s financial information and plastering it all over the internet.

Mr. Lee was supposed to have returned to the show today, where he was scheduled for two segments during the 7:00 am hour to expand on his story. Mr. Lee failed to make his scheduled appearance. 

Make what you will of that.

He also made allegations about Brent Calloway’s “transportation arrangements.” Let me bring Mr. Lee and others up to speed on current University of Alabama policy regarding the personal vehicles student-athletes plan to bring with them when they first arrive on the campus of the Capstone.

All matriculating Freshmen are required to complete a thorough questionnaire regarding any vehicle they will have on campus. They must describe in detail the make/model of their vehicle, when it was purchased, who has legal title to the vehicle, whether the purchase was financed and who financed it, the source of money if the vehicle was paid for in cash, and who pays for the insurance, license and registration.

Any grey area and the car never comes on campus. No ifs. No ands. No buts. If there are any red flags whatsoever, there is an internal compliance investigation. My source for this information is the University of Alabama compliance office.

These policies don’t just apply to football players, either. It goes for Women’s basketball and Men’s swimming, too.  Track and field? Check. Water polo? Check. Golf?  You get the idea.

Maybe that’s the reason Mr. Lee never showed up for his second round of questioning today.

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