Before he deleted both of his Facebook accounts last month, Alabama booster and T-Town Menswear owner Tom Al-Betar published several photos to one of those accounts in an album titled, “befor duke game me and my boys fitting there suit.”
The photos show Al-Betar, ex-Alabama football player Julio Jones and current Crimson Tide star Trent Richardson outside the fitting rooms of Al-Betar’s suit store, located just a couple miles from the Alabama campus.
Jones and Richardson played for Alabama in its game against Duke on Sept. 18, 2010, so both were presumably in T-Town Menswear the day Al-Betar’s Facebook photos were taken to acquire suits they would wear on gameday at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, NC.
University of Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore sent a letter to Al-Betar in March banning him from any formal association with the Alabama Athletic Department.
In the letter, Al-Betar was cited by Moore for displaying personalized Alabama football memorabilia in his T-Town Menswear store that featured the likenesses of current Alabama football players - a violation of NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199.
NCAA bylaw 188.8.131.52 states:
NCAA bylaw 184.108.40.206 states: “an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual permits the use of his or her name or picture to promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind.” (Page 74.)
As documented here in recent weeks, Al-Betar has displayed countless personalized Alabama football memorabilia items featuring Richardson, Jones and Mark Ingram inside T-Town Menswear over the years.
Al-Betar’s T-Town Menswear store displays, which featured a “The Mark Ingram Heisman Suit” promotional display, date back to the summer of 2009 and included signed, personalized items from all three Alabama football stars. (In Al-Betar’s previous store, he displayed similar Alabama football memorabilia.)
In addition, Richardson, Jones and Ingram have been seen in dozens of Al-Betar Facebook and Myspace photos inside T-Town Menswear while those store displays - featuring their likenesses - were in full view.
Al-Betar’s now-private Myspace account has also included photos of Jones in different suits on Alabama football gamedays throughout the 2008 season. Like the below photo of Jones in a white suit, posted to Al-Betar’s Myspace account on December 5, 2008:
And this photo of Jones in a dark suit, also posted to Al-Betar’s Myspace account on December 5, 2008:
And this photo of Jones before Alabama played Georgia in 2008 in Athens, Georgia posted to Al-Betar’s Myspace account on December 5, 2008:
So just exactly how long has Al-Betar been enjoying the company of Jones and Ingram at the disassociated booster’s clothing establishments?
From the above photo posted to Al-Betar’s Myspace account on Sept. 30, 2008, which was taken in his old clothing store, at the very least we’ve now verified that Jones and Ingram were enjoying the disgraced Alabama football booster’s company nearly a year before the now-notorious T-Town Menswear store had ever opened its doors.
Brooks can be reached on Twitter, Facebook and directly at firstname.lastname@example.org