Last Friday Mark McCarter of the HUNTSVILLE TIMES reported University of Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore addressed the “current controversy” involving Alabama football players and T-Town Menswear in Tuscaloosa.
Of the business, which operates three miles from the University of Alabama campus, Moore said:
“The university has responded to this maybe six months ago. Meeting with the store owner (Tom Al-Betar), his attorney, our players, everybody that we could find that was involved. Our compliance people, Mike Ward, his people, have done an outstanding job with this. It was responded to properly.”
As noted here yesterday, NCAA bylaw 18.104.22.168 states:
“After becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual 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.” (Page 74.)
In a camera-timestamped January 29, 2010, photo of Alabama football player gloves posted to his Facebook account, T-Town Menswear owner Al-Betar wrote in a caption under his photo of the gloves: “mark ingram glovs you like to see come to t-town it is on desplay.”
In a photo taken inside T-Town Menswear, Al-Betar and Ingram could also be seen holding a framed Alabama football memorabilia display piece that included Crimson Tide football player gloves similar to the gloves in the Jan. 29, 2010, Al-Betar camera-timestamped photo.
In a September 15, 2010, photo seen on Al-Betar’s now-deleted Facebook account, the T-Town Menswear owner could be seen standing next to a prominent store display labeled with large text that read, “The Mark Ingram ‘Heisman’ Suit.“
Ingram could be seen in the same suit inside T-Town Menswear in one of Al-Betar’s Facebook photos, while another Al-Betar formerly online picture showed an Ingram-autographed helmet and jersey in a storefront display in a camera-timestamped October 19, 2010 photo.
Additional photos from Al-Betar’s defunct Facebook account placed Ingram at T-Town Menswear on June 25, 2010 - along with former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy.
An Al-Betar photo of another T-Town Menswear storefront display dated May 26, 2010, contained a large image of Ingram as part of an Alabama football collectible print. A photo dated September 15, 2010 by Al-Betar’s Facebook account showed additional, high profile displays throughout the store that included Ingram.
Ingram could also been seen inside the store taking a picture with a Tuscaloosa Police Officer in a Facebook-dated October 26, 2010, photo inside T-Town Menswear. Caught in the shot of Ingram and the police officer by Al-Betar was a large action photo of Ingram seen above the two men on display next to the store’s checkout counter.