Per @IzzyGould on Twitter:
“Alabama has released a statement addressing recent inquiries of T-Town Menswear and its owner.”
“From Alabama associate AD for compliance Mike Ward: ‘We found no evidence that any student-athlete received any extra benefits.’ ”
“Alabama also sent a copy of a disassociation letter sent to Albetar. An Alabama source confirms he was never deemed a booster. “
Per @CecilHurt on Twitter:
UA release: Albetar disassociated last March. No evidence of NCAA violation. More to come at Tidesports.com.
Clearly, this is about as unlike the the Ohio State memorabilia case as it could possibly be. There is absolutely no indication here that someone from Alabama attempted to deceive compliance officials or hide an improper benefits relationship.
UPDATE: Full Story at Tuscaloosa News. Gotta love these MONEY QUOTES from the former Bama players.
"He never tried to approach me during football or tried to do anything like that while I was still eligible," McElroy said. "My only dealings with him were all legal. I organized a signing with him through my marketing people, once I was done and my eligibility was complete. He was fine - he paid the right amount, and we organized a signing to benefit my foundation."
Former UA defensive end Luther Davis, who signed a free-agent contract with the Buffalo Bills Tuesday as an undrafted rookie, said he purchased the only suits he ever owned at Alabama from Al Betar, and paid for them in full.
"I probably have two, maybe three suits in my whole closet. I bought those within my first two years of being at Bama," Davis said. "To my understanding, he's just a very proud fan, maybe he was overzealous with being a fan. I think I may have taken a picture or two with him."
Asked why some UA players may have frequented the store, McElroy said: "Tom can always see from his store into the mall, he can see people as they walk by because of where his counter is located, so I'm sure he calls out. ... They go in there because they're walking through the mall. You go into shops. You look around. There is nothing corrupt about it."
Exit Question: Why would the school find the store to be in compliance, but send a cease and desist letter and three months later, disassociate the owner? Answer: “Abundance of Caution.”