Monday, January 30, 2012

The Landon Collins Mom story can now be put to bed (update)

image In a pretty darned good job of journalistic gumshoeing,’s Izzy Gould puts the period at the end of a long and silly recruiting story. Gould got a rare interview with the mother of Landon Collins, arguably the center of the 2012 season’s most talked about recruiting story, and puts this thing to bed.

But don’t expect it to stay there. This is the SEC, and some people just don’t like to let things like this “go away.”

April Justin, Landon Collins’ mother, didn’t mince words (as if we’d expected her to after the events of the last few weeks), and essentially destroyed the notion that her son was following a girlfriend to the University of Alabama and that the only reason the girlfriend was enrolling in Tuscaloosa was because of a cushy job offered by head coach Nick Saban.

There was no job.

Saban had pre-existing ties to the Lowery family, Justin said. He knows Victoria's mother, Annette Jackson-Lowery, a former LSU women's basketball player and a girls' basketball coach at Dutchtown where Collins and Victoria are students.

"There's accusations saying (Annette's) going to hand feed Landon to Saban and that basically my son is following her daughter, which is a lie," Justin said. "Since his junior year, when we first visited, we fell in love with the (Alabama) campus.

"Furthermore, there was an accusation saying she has a job for an internship. It's not a job. It's an intern in his office."

How much do student internships pay these days?

While Gould’s story goes on to cite NCAA by-laws 13.2.1 and, which govern offers and inducements to prospective student-athletes and their friends and relatives, a careful reading of both indicates that you’d have to work very hard to find any rulebreaking.

By-law 13.2.1 specifically mentions benefits or inducements to relatives and friends, but it also notes that they’re not violations if “the same benefit is generally available to the institution’s prospective students or their relatives or friends or to a particular segment of the student body.” So in order for offering a non-paying internship to be a recruiting violation, it has to be unavailable to the rest of the student body.


Gould also cites, which specifically prohibits providing “an employment arrangement for a prospective student-athlete’s relatives.”

Ms. Lowery is not a relative.

This is consistent with my evaluation of the situation earlier today. A school cannot offer friends and relatives of prospects any benefit that is not also available to the student body at large. That is, if the girlfriend did get a job at the school, that job has to be available to all other students enrolled at the school.

Good luck arguing that an internship isn’t available to the student body, and good luck arguing that this is any sort of violation.

UPDATE: has a different angle on Gould’s report. The timing of the report’s release does bring up interesting questions, and the difference between the type of reporting we get from the two bureaus is worth discussion as well.

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Major Tom said...

I just wonder why the bylaw was cited by Izzy when nothing said by LC's Mom seemed to imply any violation of the bylaw.

What specifically did she say to cause Izzy to invoke the bylaw?

David L. said...

I think Gould is just citing the by-law that best fits the allegations. And the record clearly shows that even the best fit doesn't fit at all. It's not a "job," it's a volunteer internship that students have been getting for years.

And even if it was a job, the girlfriend isn't a relative so it's clear there, too.

Tider said...

what kills me is that she specifically says they fell in love with Alabama a long time ago, he just met her 3 months ago, how has she influenced this? Justin sure doesn't give Landon very much credit here, implying that he is that weak minded.

Also, why is Izzy citing bylaws and not citing the entire thing? conveniently leaving out the note about it not being a violation if it's available to everyone.

UAAlum94 said...

@DyingBreed, I believe she was talking about falling in love with the campus at The University of Alabama.

Izzy has the suck job of writing for the worst paper in the south. I give the Barnerham News another 2-3 years of life left.

Tider said...

@UAALUM....EXACTLY my point, if they were in love with Bama for 2 years, then how does a 3 month long relationship decide his fate? C'MON MAN, she contradicts her own statements. this girl is hanging on to his shirt tail, not the other way around....

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