A disassociated booster is allegedly selling Alabama memorabilia with signatures of players from the 2013 team including AJ McCarron and TJ Yeldon, which could be classified as an NCAA violation. The sale of the memorabilia may also be a violation of the terms outlined in a disassociation letter, although at this point in time there is no concrete evidence to support that. Regardless, Alabama is aware of the situation and issued a response Thursday night to address it.
“We are aware of the story produced today,” Alabama athletics director Bill Battle said. “As part of our ongoing compliance efforts, our compliance department looks into everything that warrants concern. That effort is diligent and all-encompassing, and requires constant communication and education regarding all potential issues.
As Outkick the Coverage reports T-Town Gallery is owned by Tom Albetar, who was previously disassociated from Alabama’s athletic program after questionable merchandise was put on sale at a previous store and location. According to the report game-worn jerseys and signatures were among the many items available for sale with current or recent Alabama football players. The sale of this merchandise would be a direct violation of one of the requests issued to Albetar when he was informed of Alabama’s decision to end the relationship.
As AL.com notes, Albetar was specifically asked not to obtain any items of memorabilia from student-athletes and autographs from student-athletes while they are in the store. And there is your gray area.
For the NCAA to slam Alabama with any possible sanctions, they will need to gather concrete evidence proving current Alabama players signed items in exchange for money. If the Johnny Manziel episode from last summer is any indication, that can be difficult to prove.