Friday I documented current starting Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson’s relationship with Tuscaloosa suit store owner and disassociated University of Alabama football booster Tom Al-Betar.
Facebook-dated and camera-timestamped photos and a now-deleted Facebook video posted by Al-Betar showed Johnson out to dinner with the defrocked Alabama booster twice and inside Al-Betar’s T-Town Menswear store on multiple occasions.
Some of the photo-documented appearances by Johnson inside the suit store, which is located only a couple miles from the University of Alabama campus, came as a jersey with Johnson’s name and number were displayed in the T-Town Menswear storefront window along with a Johnson-autographed helmet.
Johnson’s repeated appearances inside the store while his jersey and signed helmet were in the storefront window of T-Town Menswear is a clear violation of NCAA rule 220.127.116.11. - the violation of which effectively renders Johnson ineligible. (Page 74.)
Another now-deleted Al-Betar Facebook photo posted to one of his two Facebook accounts showed Johnson signing used football cleats with silver paint pen.
Well after being sent a cease-and-desist letter by the University of Alabama on Dec. 22, 2010 and a letter officially disassociating him from Alabama athletics on March 31, 2011, Al-Betar had thousands of photos featuring then-current and current Alabama student-athletes still posted to his Facebook accounts until the suit store owner deleted them all around three weeks ago.
Al-Betar’s sudden, hasty deletion of the massive number of images took place following initial reports from outkickethecoverage.com and this site documenting activities that - according to NCAA rules - render Julio Jones and Mark Ingram retroactively ineligible and Trent Richardson and Johnson currently ineligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics at Alabama.