Ingram: Trent Richardson’s ‘Humble’ Life Coach

During Saturday’s ESPNU telecast of the Alabama-Vanderbilt football game, ESPN’s Clay Matvick reported that Trent Richardson told the ESPN announcer before the game that Mark Ingram, “taught him humility.” ESPN game analyst Brian Griese later added that Richardson told him that he still speaks with Ingram “two or three times a week.”

(Was ‘classless’ Ingram’ taunting ‘Supercam?)

If the above play taken from the Saints-Panthers game aired on FOX the next day is any indication, it appears Ingram has been teaching Richardson about NCAA rules compliance too.

Mark Ingram, Tom Al-Betar, Julio Jones and Trent Richardson Inside T-Town Menswear in 2010

But you already knew that.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates.

‘befor duke game with my boys fitting there suit’

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.

Trent Richardson and Julio Jones Getting Fitted For Suits At T-Town Menswear Before The 2010 Duke Game

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.

Trent Richardson reaches for suit in T-Town Menswear

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 12.5.2.1.

Mark Ingram poses for photo in front of T-Town Menswear Display Of Action Shot Of Him

NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.1 states:

NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.1 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.

T-Town Menswear Storefront Display Of Ingram, Jones, Richardson Signed Jersey and Ingram Signed Helmet

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.

Julio Jones poses for T-Town Menswear Photo In Front Of Julio Jones Collectible Fullsize Helmet On Store Checkout Counter

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:

Julio Jones 2008 Suit from Tom Al-Betar Myspace Account Photos

And this photo of Jones in a dark suit, also posted to Al-Betar’s Myspace account on December 5, 2008:

Julio Jones 2008 Suit from Tom Al-Betar Myspace Account Photos

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:

Julio Jones 2008 Suit from Tom Al-Betar Myspace Account Photos

So just exactly how long has Al-Betar been enjoying the company of Jones and Ingram at the disassociated booster’s clothing establishments?

Good question.

Tom Al-Betar, Julio Jones and Mark Ingram in Al-Betar's old store in 2008

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 sportsbybrooks@gmail.com

Why Is Nico Johnson Signing Cleats In Suit Store?

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.

Why is Nico Johnson signing used cleats inside T-Town Menswear?

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. Read more…

ANOTHER Current Player? Bama Scandal Deepens

By now you know the University of Alabama has told the BIRMINGHAM NEWS and ESPN that it found “no (NCAA-rules related) wrongdoing” involving the relationship between current football players and Tuscaloosa suit store owner and formally disassociated University of Alabama booster Tom Al-Betar.

Nico Johnson and Alabama disassociated booster and suit store owner Tom Al-Betar

(Why is Nico Johnson out to dinner with disassociated booster Tom Al-Betar?)

Nick Saban has echoed that sentiment to Ian Fitzsimmons of ESPN 103.3. Dallas and Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore has stated publicly that UA Compliance has done an “outstanding” job in responding to the situation.


Alabama also reportedly has not contacted the NCAA or SEC about dozens of Crimson Tide football memorabilia items signed by current and then-current Alabama players that were displayed at T-Town Menswear during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. (And continue to be displayed to this day.)

Nico Johnson and Alabama disassociated booster and suit store owner Tom Al-Betar in 2009

(Julio Jones, Nico Johnson in T-Town Menswear during 2009 season)

Camera-timestamped and Facebook-dated photos since deleted from the web by Al-Betar clearly showing former Alabama football players Julio Jones, Mark Ingram and current Alabama football player Trent Richardson engaged in activities rendering them ineligible per NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.1, while additional Al-Betar Facebook photos and video show current Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson engaged in similar NCAA rule-breaking.

Nico Johnson and Alabama disassociated booster and suit store owner Tom Al-Betar

Johnson’s involvment with Tuscaloosa suit store owner has included dinner with Al-Betar on at least two different occasions and Johnson visiting T-Town Menswear on nearly a dozen, Facebook photo-documented occasions during the 2009 and 2010 football seasons. One dinner involving Al-Betar and Johnson was recorded on video by Al-Betar and also posted to one of his former Facebook accounts.

Nico Johnson and Alabama disassociated booster and suit store owner Tom Al-Betar

Johnson-signed memorabilia can be see in Al-Betar Facebook photos at the T-Town Menswear checkout counter and in a storefront window. Al-Betar first posted a Facebook photo of the T-Town Menswear window display of Johnson’s personalized #35 University of Alabama football jersey and a helmet signed by Johnson in September, 2010.

Nico Johnson and Alabama disassociated booster and suit store owner Tom Al-Betar

From Facebook-dated and camera-timestamped photos, Johnson is pictured in now-deleted Al-Betar photos before and after T-Town Menswear featured the Johnson personalized jersey and signed helmet display.

Nico Johnson signed helmet at checkout counter in T-Town Menswear

As Johnson continued to be repeatedly seen inside T-Town Menswear while his personalized jersey and signed helmet was on display in the store window, he is ineligible to play intercollegiate sports per NCAA rule 12.5.2.1 - which states:

Nico Johnson and Alabama disassociated booster and suit store owner Tom Al-Betar

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.)

While Ingram and Jones have since left the Alabama program, the confirmed ineligibility of Johnson and Richardson figures to have a considerable impact on Alabama’s upcoming football season.

Nico Johnson and Alabama disassociated booster and suit store owner Tom Al-Betar

That is, if the NCAA follows its own rules.

Brooks is on Twitter and Facebook

Store’s 2010 TV Spot: Current Bama Player Images

The past two weeks, I’ve chronicled activity by a Tuscaloosa suit store owner and University of Alabama student-athletes that, per a particular NCAA rule, renders those Crimson Tide football players ineligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics.

Mark Ingram, Tom Al-Betar, Julio Jones and Trent Richardson Inside T-Town Menswear in 2009

(Ingram, Jones Likenesses Featured In Suit Store TV Spot)

That athletic ineligibility is not based on student-athletes receiving benefits from T-Town Menswear owner Tom Al-Betar. Instead, the current and then-current Alabama football players in question relinquished their eligibility by allowing, tacitly or otherwise, Al-Betar to use their likenesses in multiple T-Town Menswear store displays over a period of multiple years.


The applicable NCAA rule, bylaw 12.5.2.1:

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.)

Al-Betar also used the likenesses of then-current Alabama football players in at least one T-Town Menswear television commercial that aired in the Tuscaloosa market during the summer of 2010.

In a spot uploaded to Tuscaloosa production company Jones Media’s youtube account on June 7, 2010 (screenshot), the helmets of then-current Alabama football players Mark Ingram and Julio Jones could be seen throughout a T-Town Menswear commercial featuring Al-Betar as “Tom.”

Also during the spot while on-camera, suit store owner Al-Betar touted the fact that current Alabama football players patronized his store.

During the commercial, Al-Betar was asked, “Tom I understand that many of the Alabama Crimson Tide football players get clothed here at T-Town Menswear.

Al-Betar’s response: “Yeah, they (current Alabama football players) wear their uniform at the game and they wear my uniform after the game.

Al-Betar’s T-Town Menswear Tuscaloosa television market commercial was hardly a one-off production. Jones Media has produced several Al-Betar commercials, with the latest airing in April - after the suit store owner received an official disassociation letter from the University of Alabama for displaying and selling items signed by current Alabama football players. (The aforementioned activities were confirmed by the University of Alabama in two letters.)

The T-Town Menswear spots date back to at least 2009. On April 18, 2009, then-BIRMINGHAM NEWS Alabama football beat reporter Ian Rapoport noted that former Alabama football player Tyrone Prothro had appeared in a commercial for an Al-Betar Tuscaloosa clothing outlet. (I’ve since confirmed with Rapoport personally that Al-Betar’s suit store business was the subject of the spot.)

Brooks is on Twitter and Facebook

UA 1st Concern: Ineligibility Unrelated To Benefits

In a cease-and-desist letter (pdf) to T-Town Menswear owner Tom Al-Betar on December 22, 2010 and a March 31, 2011, letter (pdf) disassociating the Tuscaloosa suit store owner from the school’s athletic program, the first NCAA rule cited in each University of Alabama communication was NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.1.

Trent Richardson signing display at T-Town Menswear - Bama Letters Cited Applicable NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.1

NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.1. 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 other words, a student-athlete can be ruled ineligible to play sports even if he/she does not receive benefits of any kind from the commercial operation in question.

In his letter officially disassociating Al-Betar from UA Athletics for three years, Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore cited the suit store owner displaying memorabilia featuring current Crimson Tide athletes:

“..given the numerous items of memorabilia displayed in your store, including at times, some belonging to or signed by current student-athletes, you have potentially placed the University and its student-athletes at risk.”

In his letter, Moore did not accuse Al-Betar of providing benefits to current UA athletes.

Photos posted by Al-Betar to his now-deleted Facebook account included images that have now been confirmed to include ..

1) .. personalized, signed Alabama football jerseys of Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Julio Jones located in a T-Town Menswear storefront window while all three players were active Alabama football players - with subsequent, Facebook-dated and camera-timestamped photos of the three players inside the store after the display was created. (September 28, 2010.)

T-Town Menswear Storefront Display Of Ingram, Jones, Richardson Signed Jersey and Ingram Signed Helmet

An Ingram-signed full-size, personalized Alabama football helmet was also included in the Sept. 28, 2010, T-Town Menswear storefront display.

2) .. Mark Ingram posing for a photo inside T-Town Menswear in front of a large action photo of himself as an Alabama football player while Ingram was still an active football player for the University of Alabama. The photo was located adjacent to the T-Town Menswear checkout counter.

Mark Ingram poses for photo in front of T-Town Menswear Display Of Action Shot Of Him

3) .. Trent Richardson signing a display print inside the store with subsequent, Facebook-dated and camera-timestamped photos of Richardson inside the store after he signed the display.

Trent Richardson signing display at T-Town Menswear - Bama Letters Cited Applicable NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2.1

4)  .. a “Mark Ingram ‘Heisman’ Suit” T-Town Menswear store display, with subsequent, Facebook-dated and camera-timestamped photos of Ingram inside the store after the display was created.

Mark Ingram Heisman Suit Display At T-Town Menswear

5)  .. a now-deleted, Al-Betar Facebook photo of Alabama football player gloves accompanied by the Al-Betar comment, “mark ingram glovs you like to see come to t-town it is on desplay“, with subsequent, Facebook-dated and camera-timestamped photos of Ingram inside the store before and after the Facebook photo and comment by Al-Betar was posted to the suit store owner’s former social networking site account.

Mark Ingram Gloves On Display at T-Town Menswear According To Tom Al-Betar

6) .. Facebook photos from Al-Betar’s deleted acccount showing then-current Alabama football player Terrence Cody holding an autographed Alabama football helmet inside T-Town Menswear two weeks before the Crimson Tide’s 2010 BCS Championship victory over Texas.

Terrence Cody signed helmet inside T-Town Menswear in 2009

In additional Al-Betar Facebook photos, a similarly-signed Cody helmet could be seen in two different display windows at T-Town Menswear, with one picture camera-timestamped Jan. 17, 2010 and the other May 26, 2010.

7) .. current Alabama assistant coach Bobby Williams posing for a photo with T-Town Menswear owner Al-Betar on Christmas Day, 2009, with the aforementioned action photo of Ingram seen behind the Alabama football coach and suit store owner in the image.

Alabama assistant coach Bobby Williams at T-Town Menswear on Christmas Day with disassociated booster Tom Al-Betar In Front Of Mark Ingram Action Photo

8) .. Julio Jones, while still an active Alabama football player, posing for an Al-Betar photo - Facebook-dated Oct. 5, 2010, and titled “after the game” -  inside T-Town Menswear in front of a collectible Julio Jones fullsize helmet signed by Jones and enclosed in a case on the T-Town Menswear checkout counter.

Julio Jones poses for T-Town Menswear Photo In Front Of Julio Jones Collectible Fullsize Helmet On Store Checkout Counter

The University of Alabama initially cited NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.1 in both of its official letters to Al-Betar, formalizing the school’s concern that active Alabama football players were signing personalized, Alabama football memorabilia displayed in T-Town Menswear - with those players having knowledge of such store displays. (And in one case, per the latter circumstance, assistant coach Bobby Williams.)

Such activity by student-athletes - according to NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.1 - renders those individuals ineligible.

Thanks to Al-Betar’s Facebook-dated and camera-timestamped photos, the specific reasons for Alabama’s concern about the eligibility of current and then-current student-athletes as it pertains to NCAA bylaw 12.5.2.1. has now been verified.

Brooks is on Twitter and Facebook

‘mark ingram glovs come to t-town it is on desplay’

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.

Mark Ingram Gloves On Display at T-Town Menswear According To Tom Al-Betar

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 12.5.2.1 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.

Mark Ingram Heisman Suit Display At T-Town Menswear

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.

Mark Ingram Store Displays At T-Town Menswear

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.

Mark Ingram With Tuscaloosa Police Signed Print Which Includes Trent Richardson Autograph And Standing In Front Of Store Display Of Himself

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.

Brooks is on Twitter and Facebook

Why Is Defrocked UA Booster Partying With Cody?

Six days ago photos first surfaced online of Alabama football players signing memorabilia inside T-Town Menswear, a Tuscaloosa clothing store located three miles from the University of Alabama campus.

Terrence Cody and T-Town Menswear Owner Tom Al-Betar

The photos, uploaded to the Facebook accounts of store owner and proprietor Tom Al-Betar, also showed current, signed Alabama player memorabilia on display inside the store.

Among some of the football players depicted in the T-Town Menswear Facebook photos was Trent Richardson, Julio Jones and Terrence Cody.

Cody, who played an important role in the Crimson Tide’s 2009 National Championship season, is now a defensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens.

Terrence Cody new suits in TTown Menswear

Cody can be seen in T-Town Menswear photos wearing news suits inside the store, signing memorabilia and socializing with Al-Betar.

Terrence Cody signed gloves print and new suit TTown Menswear

Several of the Facebook photos show Cody holding an autographed Alabama football helmet inside T-Town Menswear two weeks before the Crimson Tide’s 2010 BCS Championship victory over Texas.

Terrence Cody signed helmet inside T-Town Menswear in 2009

In additional Al-Betar Facebook photos, a similarly-signed Cody helmet can be seen in two different display windows at T-Town Menswear, with one picture camera-timestamped Jan. 17, 2010 and the other May 26, 2010.

In a camera-timestamped photo, Cody can also be seen with several of his Alabama teammates inside the Tuscaloosa suit store on Dec. 29, 2009.

Alabama players inside T-Town Menswear 2009

From the photos posted by Al-Betar, Cody made multiple visits to T-Town Menswear over the years. During those visits Cody was often shown autographing Alabama football memorabilia.

Terrence Cody signing autographs inside TTown Menswear

Al-Betar’s personal Facebook account also featured a group of photos titled, “Boys Night Out Cody.”

Terrence Cody partying with Alabama booster Tom Al-Betar

In those pictures, Cody can be seen taking a shot with friends while in another photo he’s partaking in a hookah pipe with Al-Betar.

Also included in the photos was a shot of Cody’s family at dinner and the Alabama lineman’s infant daughter being held by Al-Betar inside T-Town Menswear.

Alabama Booster Tom Al-Betar holds Terrence Cody's baby daughter

Al-Betar’s Cody-themed photos also include Alabama football players Jones and Roy Upchurch inside T-Town Menswear as Upchurch is seen holding two packages of shirts.

Terrence Cody Julio Jones Roy Upchurch with shirts inside TTown Menswear

In response to multiple reports detailing the activities of Al-Betar and Alabama football players by Clay Travis of OutKickTheCoverage.com, Alabama reported on Friday that it sent a Dec. 22, 2010, cease-and-desist letter to Al-Betar ordering him to stop selling signed current Crimson Tide football player items at a kiosk located just outside Al-Betar’s store in Tuscaloosa’s University Mall.

Travis subsequently reported jerseys signed by Jones, Richardson and Marcell Dareus were also seen on sale at a Birmingham mall kiosk last December.

Terrence Cody 2009 Inside T-Town Menswear

Tuesday Travis reported that the University of Alabama sent an official letter to Al-Betar on March 31, 2011, informing him he had been formally disassociated from UA Athletics.

Brooks is on Twitter and Facebook

Why is Richardson Signing With a Suit Jacket On?

Tuesday Nick Saban commented for the first time about the relationship of current Alabama football players to T-Town Menswear store owner Tom Al-Betar.

Trent Richardson wearing suit jacket at T-Town Menswear

Saban told Ian Fitzsimmons of ESPN 103.3 in Dallas:

“Our compliance people have been on top of this for a long time. I think this is an example of somebody…it’s not a violation if you sign a shirt for somebody, you just can’t receive compensation for it. We’ve done a cease-and-desist with this establishment a long time ago to make sure everybody understands what players can and can’t do.”

In now-deleted Facebook accounts, Al-Betar previously posted photos of Alabama football players signing memorabilia in his suit store - which is located three miles from the University of Alabama campus.

One of the football players depicted in those photos is current Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who can be seen in an Al-Betar photo signing an Alabama football print while wearing a suit jacket inside T-Town menswear.

Trent Richardson wearing suit jacket at T-Town Menswear

Earlier Wednesday Clay Travis of OutKickTheCoverage.com posted a Dec. 14, 2010, photo showing a Birmingham mall kiosk.

Tom Al-Betar's Mall Kiosk With Autographed Alabama Player Jerseys

At the time of the photo one of the items offered for sale at the kiosk was a Richardson-signed Alabama jersey.

On December 22, 2010, University of Alabama Associate Director for Compliance Mike Ward sent Al-Betar a cease-and-desist letter regarding the sale of memorabilia autographed by current Alabama football players at his kiosk outside T-Town Menswear. Excerpt:

I am writing to you on behalf of several current student-athletes at The University of Alabama. It has been brought to our attention that you are selling or distributing, for commercial purposes, items depicting current University of Alabama student-athletes, specifically, items autographed by current student athletes. The use of a current student-athlete’s name or likeness on commercial items offered for sale, or for advertising or promotional purposes, without his or her knowledge or permission can jeopardize the student-athlete’s eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics with the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The letter was addressed to Al-Betar’s kiosk in Tuscaloosa, not the Birmingham kiosk that was photographed on Dec. 14, 2010, selling jerseys of then-current Alabama football players Richardson, Julio Jones and Marcell Dareus.

That signed red jersey for sale at Al-Betar’s kiosk matched a Richardson jersey previously offered for sale by the website ViceAuthenticsMemorabilia.com.

Trent Richardson signed jersey for sale online

The for sale listing for the Richardson jersey has since been pulled by the Alabama-based sports memorabilia website.

Jones can also be seen in Al-Betar Facebook photos inside T-Town menswear signing red jerseys that match the jerseys offered for sale at the Al-Betar Tuscaloosa kiosk targeted by UA compliance and the Birmingham mall kiosk in December.

Julio Jones signs Alabama jerseys inside T-Town Menswear

The signed jerseys were offered for sale at Al-Betar’s kiosk and the Birmingham mall kiosk while Jones was still an active member of the Alabama football team.

Richardson can also be seen in a photo dated Sept. 3, 2010 on Al-Betar’s now-deleted Facebook page signing a white Alabama jersey with his name on it.

That signed white jersey matches a Richardson jersey previously offered for sale by the website ViceAuthenticsMemorabilia.com.

Trent Richardson signing jersey inside T-Town Menswear

ViceAuthenticsMemorabilia.com noted in the listing for the white Richardson jersey for sale:

Jersey was signed in Tuscaloosa, AL on September 3, 2010

The for sale listing for the white Richardson jersey has since been pulled by the website.

Trent Richardson signing helmet inside T-Town Menswear

Both for sale listings of Richardson-signed memorabilia from ViceAuthenticsMemorabilia.com also noted, “I have multiple signed prints, photos, helmets & jerseys of Trent.

While the exact nature of Richardson’s relationship to Al-Betar is not known, Travis previously posted a photo of the two out to dinner in Tuscaloosa Jan. 23, 2010.

Trent Richardson out to dinner with Alabama booster Tom Al-Betar

Speaking to ESPN 103.3 in Dallas Tuesday, Saban said of the interaction between Al-Betar and Alabama football players:

“You know, I guess I could ban our players from the place but until somebody can sorta convince me that somebody is doing something wrong, which I haven’t been convinced of yet, I don’t know if that’s fair to our players.”

Brooks is on Twitter and Facebook

Photos: Ingram Heisman Tie To Booster Suitable?

For the past five days, Clay Travis at OutKickTheCoverage.com has steadily unearthed a collection of online photos and video that indicate some manner of relationship between a Tuscaloosa menswear store owner and Alabama football players.

Mark Ingram fitted for Heisman suit at T-Town Menswear

T-Town Menswear owner Tom Al-Betar, an Alabama booster and 2009 & 2010 sideline pass holder who opened the store 13 months ago at a mall location three miles from the University of Alabama campus, has assembled a wide-array of on-display memorabilia featuring former Crimson Tide players and at least one current Alabama student-athlete, Trent Richardson.

In since-deleted online photos posted by Al-Betar to his Facebook account, past and present Alabama players can be seen signing memorabilia for Al-Betar - and perhaps at least one memorabilia dealer.

After Travis broke the story, the University of Alabama released a cease-and-desist letter (full size) it claimed was sent to Al-Betar on Dec. 22, 2010. The school’s letter - signed by Alabama Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Mike Ward, directed Al-Betar to cease selling memorabilia that included likenesses of current Alabama football players. Al-Betar was also ordered to stop using likenesses of current players in advertisements of any kind.

A month later, on Jan. 26, 2011, Al-Betar hosted a high-profile autograph signing for ex-Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy outside T-Town Menswear’s mall location. At the time of the autograph show, which was covered by the TUSCALOOSA NEWS, signed jerseys of multiple, current Alabama football players could be seen in a T-Town Menswear store window display.


Al-Betar later posted a photo of the same current UA football player-related display on his defunct Facebook page on Feb. 4, 2011.

Current Bama jerseys display during McElroy signing

So why would Al-Betar disobey the demands detailed in a letter from the same school that has formally granted him sideline passes for Alabama football games the past two seasons?

He didn’t.

The Alabama compliance letter did not address Al-Betar by name or T-Town Menswear. All that distinguishes the Alabama compliance document from a form letter was a handwritten notation at the top of the one-page document that read, “Kiosk @ Mall. Tom’s.”

Indeed, Al-Betar did operate a kiosk in the mall at the time, which apparently included signed memorabilia from current Alabama football players - though it’s difficult to tell from the below photo posted on Al-Betar’s Facebook page on Sept. 15, 2010:

Tom Al-Betar's Kiosk

The date of the letter from UA to Al-Betar, Dec. 22, 2010, also wasn’t just a red-letter day for the Crimson Tide compliance department.

On the same day Alabama sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Alabama booster and men’s suits store owner, the news broke detailing the association between Ohio State football players and a local tattoo parlor owner - and the possibility that OSU’s scarlet & gray squad could lose some of its players for the Sugar Bowl.

Al-Betar’s store displays also include memorabilia featuring Mark Ingram, who obtained the suit he wore for the 2009 Heisman Trophy ceremony from T-Town menswear. Of that suit, Al-Betar previously posted a Facebook photo of Ingram getting fitted for it at T-Town Menswear before the Dec. 13, 2009, ceremony.

Mark Ingram fitted for Heisman suit at T-Town Menswear In Tuscaloosa

In Al-Betar’s now-deleted Facebook picture of the fitting scene, Ingram appears to attempt to block the photo from being taken with an outstretched arm and open hand.

Or, perhaps, Ingram was merely striking an apropos Heisman pose when the photo was taken. Or outstretching his arm as he was being fitted.

After Ingram won the Heisman Trophy, Al-Betar created a store display that included a suit that looked similar to what Ingram wore for the ceremony. Accompanying the suit was a large action photo of Ingram and oversized display text that read, “The Mark Ingram ‘Heisman’ Suit.

Mark Ingram Heisman suit at T-Town Menswear

The photo of the Ingram Heisman display was posted on Al-Betar’s Facebook page on Sept. 15, 2010, though the star running back would play another season for the Alabama football squad.

Al-Betar’s Facebook account also included a shot of Ingram signing memorabilia inside T-Town Menswear. The below photos were taken on Jan. 10, 2010, three days after Ingram helped lead the Crimson Tide to a victory over Texas in the BCS Championship Game.

Mark Ingram signing memorabilia at T-Town Menswear On Jan. 10, 2010

After the above (Jan. 10, 2010) photos were taken, Ingram played another season for Alabama.

Mark Ingram in T-Town menswear in 2009

Based on a camera timestamp, Ingram can be seen inside T-Town menswear in Al-Betar’s online photo collection as early as Dec. 31., 2009, the day before the Alabama football team departed for the 2010 BCS title game in Pasadena.

Mark Ingram Signed Print, Gloves For Tom Al-Betar In T-Town Menswear

Ingram is one of dozens of Alabama football players seen in photos formerly posted online by Alabama booster Al-Betar. Those pictures often place current and former players inside T-Town Menswear and in the case of current player Richardson, out to dinner with store owner Al-Betar at a Tuscaloosa restaurant on Jan. 23, 2010.

The University of Alabama has yet to issue a statement or communicate anything to the public on the record about the relationship between Alabama booster Al-Betar and the Crimson Tide football program.

Kevin Scarbinsky of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS reported today:

An Alabama source said Friday that the school did not believe the eligibility of any current player was in jeopardy and that the school did not forward information about the situation to the SEC or NCAA

In a July 22 piece titled, “Source: Alabama found no wrongdoing, “Joe Schad of ESPN.com reported:

Alabama looked into the relationship between T-Town, the store, and players such as star running back Trent Richardson and concluded that the players did not receive benefits such as merchandise or discounts, a source said.

Two weeks ago Alabama’s compliance department released 36 NCAA violations committed the last two years by school athletic programs. Among the football violations was the following:

Strength and Conditioning staff member returned a voicemail message not knowing the caller was a prospective student-athlete.

The 36 NCAA violations released by the school to the public did not include anything pertaining to the relationship of Alabama players and Tom Al-Betar, T-Town Menswear, or “Kiosk @ Mall. Tom’s.”

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