In the wake of Outkickthecoverage.com’s report early this morning that multiple Alabama players had their autographed jerseys and helmets used to advertise T-Town Men’s Wear, a men’s suit store in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has notified OKTC’s David Wasson that the program sent a cease and desist letter to T-Town’s Men’s Wear in December of 2010. A member of the Alabama senior staff told OKTC.com that UA’s compliance department looked into T-Town Menswear in December of 2010, sent a cease-and-desist letter to the business, and that no players received extra benefits.
That investigation and letter would have come about six weeks after the October 19th date stamp on the jersey picture from the display window linked below. That display window featured current Crimson Tide players Trent Richardson and Nico Johnson and at the time of the photo Mark Ingram and Julio Jones, now drafted, were playing in the NFL.
The use of the autographed jerseys and helmets, first reported on this site, constitutes a clear violation of NCAA rule 12.5, excerpted below.
12.5 PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES
188.8.131.52 Advertisements and Promotions After Becoming a Student-Athlete.
After becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual:
(a) Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind; or
(b) Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such
product or service.
But just as Alabama works to put out this fire, OKTC has received multiple other pictures that provide evidence of substantial connections between the owner of the store, Tom Albetar, pictured above with Nick Saban, and current Alabama athletes. Indeed, it appears that the owner of the store, Albetar, has even used another current Alabama athlete Marquis Maze in advertisements for his business. Maze, a junior wide receiver for the Crimson Tide, is pictured idn the third picture below, posing in the men’s store holding a helmet.
Acccording to multiple tippers, Albetar even advertises his business on social media with the slogan “We dress Alabama football.”
Whatever may be the full extent of the relationship between Albetar and Crimson Tide athletes, it’s clear that Alabama has a battle on its hands to keep Albetar from endangering the eligibility of current Crimson Tide athletes. And it’s also clear that Albetar’s connection to the program, he appears to own two championship rings, may be much deeper than previously realized.
We’ll keep you updated on this evolving story here. In fact, curses, we’re missing Les Miles right now.
OKTC has requested comment from Albetar, but has received no comment thus far.