The battle between in-state rivals Alabama and Auburn for the services of five-star linebacker Brent Calloway was, to say the least, intriguing.
Long a commitment to the Tide, the five-star linebacker stunned most observers by pulling his verbal commitment from the Tuscaloosa school and committing to the Tigers during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl — on NBC — in early January. The flip-flop did not please his family, and Calloway ultimately signed with the Tide on National Signing Day nearly a month after his initial flip.
That’s not the end of the story, however, according to at least one website.
By way of Mr. SEC.com, Jeffrey Lee of Rivals.com‘s Auburn site appeared on an Alabama radio station this morning and, in essence, accused Alabama of paying for Calloway’s talents. Mr. SEC.com has the bullet points of the explosive things Lee said went on financially between an Alabama supporter, Calloway and at least one member of Calloway’s family.
* A supporter of Alabama took Calloway to Tuscaloosa multiple times including the weekend prior to national signing day.
* The supporter allegedly then drove Calloway out of state and kept him there until he returned to his hometown of Russellville, Alabama on signing day.
* Before Calloway’s final trip to Tuscaloosa pre-signing day, the Bama supporter allegedly made cash payments to Harland “Peaches” Winston who is Calloway’s adoptive father.
* Winston supposedly received $2,500 from the Bama fan on at least one occasion.
* Supposedly, Winston also received aid in catching up on his home mortgage.
* The fan also allegedly provided Calloway with a new car that the player drove to school. Supposedly enough questions were asked about the car that it was returned on the same day.
* Allegedly, the car was purchased by the Bama supporter from a dealership in Muscle Shoals owned by yet another Alabama supporter.
* Supposedly, the supporter told Calloway that he would receive $1,200 per month while playing at Alabama.
If true, this would be an instance where the word “wow” would hardly suffice.
Of course, eyebrows should be raised over a website dedicated to covering Auburn flinging serious accusations against rival Alabama. But the level of detail involved in the accusations leveled against this Tide supporter — we’re unclear if the “booster” label should be applied — certainly makes this something to keep an eye on in the near future.
It should also go without saying that the NCAA may have an interest in speaking to a couple of individuals regarding the situation — if there even is a situation — that’s been brought to the public light.