Video of Random Sideline Guy Frightening Saban

Looks like someone put Tom Al-Betar’s sideline pass to good use.

(A Star is Born)

Sadly though, I’ve been told Alabama football legend Harvey Updyke didn’t see the field last night.

Though if I had Mal Moore fetching me chicken fingers and spiked cheerwine all night, I’d wouldn’t bother to leave President Witt’s suite either.

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Evans: Saban “Stepped Over Convulsing Player”

Tuesday 790 The Ticket morning show host Jorge Sedano interviewed former NFL player Heath Evans for a segment that aired on the Miami sports radio station Wednesday morning. (Audio below.)

During the interview, Evans was asked by Sedano to describe Nick Saban at Dolphins training camp in 2005 when Saban was in his first year as Miami’s head coach and Evans was a player on the squad.

SEDANO: Give me an example of something he did to someone while you were there that made you shake your head, you’re like, ‘That stuff doesn’t work here’.

EVANS: Well, the first day of two-a-days. We had about a three-hour-plus practice in the morning in that south Florida sun. You guys know what it’s like down there in late July, early August. And then that night we had another practice under the lights, if I recall I think it was about from 6 to 9.

Jeno James, our best offensive lineman at the time, comes in and collapses after practice, uh, vomiting all kinds of stuff that would make a billygoat puke, eyes rolled in the back of his head. Myself, about four other lineman are trying to carry him from the locker room, to the training room. 

Obviously it’s a moment of panic, everyone, you know, we don’t know if this guy’s, you know, gonna die, I mean, the whole deal. But he’s so big and sweaty and heavy that we actually have to set him down in the hallway between the locker room and the training room.

Nick Saban literally just starts walking in, steps over Jeno James convulsing, doesn’t say a word, doesn’t try to help, goes upstairs, I don’t know what he does. But then obviously they get Jeno trauma-offed to the hospital.

Saban calls a team meeting about 10:30 that night, comes down and says, ‘You know, the captain of the ship can never show fear or indecision, we’ve always gotta have an answer, and so I had to go upstairs, that’s why I walked over Geno like that, I had to collect my thoughts and decide what’s best for our team.’

And I’m thinking to myself, I think along with Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas and Yeremiah Bell and all these other guys going, ‘Did he, does he really believe what he’s just saying?’ He showed no human emotion for one of his best players. He literally stepped over him when four or five grown men are trying to carry Jeno to the training room.

And at that point honestly, you know, I was only there, you know, for seven weeks of that football season before he cut me, um, and let me say this – that was the best thing that ever happened to my career, because obviously A) they had to pay me, and B) Bill Belichick picked me up and I learned more football than I ever thought I’d know – but that deciding moment kind of right there of how Nick Saban handled that, I think it always showed the team that ultimately he doesn’t really care about any of us players.

SEDANO: I mean, are you serious? Well, listen, I know for a fact that people in that office, they weren’t even allowed to look at him, for God’s sake! Like, I heard a story about his secretary telling him he had a nice haircut, he kind of like grunted at her and kept walking. And then someone later, this Scotty O’Brien, that hatchet man that he had, came up to her and says, ‘You’re not allowed to speak to the coach! Don’t you dare speak to the coach!’ Just nonsense that Scotty O’Brien - he had a hatchet man! What coach has a hatchet man?

EVANS: Who is that narcissistic not to want people that are ultimately trying to make you look better talk to you? I mean, from what I heard, and I obviously never saw the email, but it was an email that went around that says, you know, don’t speak until spoken to like it’s the, you know, the Marines or something, you know what I mean? So I don’t know. Nick’s - listen, again, you gotta praise what he does on the football field.


EVANS: The guy’s an amazing football coach at the college level. How he gets it done isn’t my style of coaching or teaching. But ultimately, the guy’s got some ways about him that I’m just like, ‘Are you human?’ I think he might be a robot.

SEDANO: (laughing) Oh, you’ve just confirmed everything I’ve been saying for years, so I’m glad that you were able to do that.

On July 28, 2005, Greg Bedard of the PALM BEACH POST reported on the incident involving James that was described by Evans to Sedano during their Tuesday interview:

Dolphins guard Jeno James was carried through the Dolphins’ locker room on a stretcher and then airlifted to a local hospital late Wednesday night, vomiting and complaining of light-headedness after the second of two practices, according to two league sources.

One Dolphins player described the scene as “scary” and “shocking.”

Dolphins coach Nick Saban was asked Wednesday whether he thought his training camp was tough.

“I don’t really know,” Saban said. “This is the work that, as a staff, we prescribe in terms of what we need to do to be a well- conditioned team that can play with intangibles, for 60 minutes, that you need to have success.

“Winning games in the fourth quarter is important. I don’t think you can do that unless you are well- conditioned and have a lot of toughness. I don’t know if you can develop that without creating some adversity. We are not out here trying to make it more difficult than it needs to be.”

The next day, Carlos Frias of the PALM BEACH POST reported of the condition of James:

A stomach virus that has been going around and helped put offensive lineman Jeno James in the hospital also kept quarterback A.J. Feeley out of practice Thursday.

James, a 315-pound guard, already was ill when he pushed himself too hard in practice Wednesday night and collapsed, cornerback Reggie Howard said. James was rushed to Broward General Hospital, where he was treated for dehydration. He remained hospitalized Thursday night for observation.

Saban was at James’ bedside at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and found him “fine, talking” and eager to return to practice. But the Dolphins have not said when they expect him back.

“The first thing he does when you talk to him is apologize for not being able to answer the bell,” Saban said. “It’s amazing. He demonstrates everything you ever talk about in a football player in terms of toughness, work ethic, trying to do everything you want him to do.”

Several Dolphins said they saw James throwing up in the locker room before the second practice Wednesday then froze when they saw him lying on the ground as the medical staff treated him.

“It was frightening at first,” Howard said. “No one knew what was going on.”

On August 3, 2005, Andre C. Fernandez of the MIAMI HERALD reported that James had returned to the team:

Scary and painful.

Dolphins starting left guard Jeno James used those words Tuesday to describe his bout with heat exhaustion and a stomach virus that hospitalized him last week.

“Basically, I don’t remember that night too well,” said James, who was airlifted to Broward General Hospital after last Wednesday night’s practice. “That night I just had to get through that practice. I did make it, but after that I don’t remember. I think it was one of the hardest times I ever went through in my life as far as being sick like that.”

James said he thought a lot about former Minnesota Vikings star Korey Stringer while he was in the hospital and said he was grateful to be alive. Stringer died of complications from heat stroke in 2001.

On Tuesday, James watched practice and jogged at times on the sideline.

He said he was not going to rush his return.

“Right now I’m just trying to get strong again and be smart about this,” James said.

Finally, Jeff Darlington of the PALM BEACH POST reported that James had returned to full workouts on August 7, 2005:

Jeno James, who collapsed from a stomach virus July 27, participated in his first full workout since the incident. James has dressed for several practices, but he hadn’t begun participating in heavy team drills before Saturday.

At the end of his report on James’ return, Darlington noted:

Saban said the coaching staff consistently checks to make sure he remains in good health.

Audio of the Evans interview on The Jorge Sedano Show from 790 The Ticket in Miami:

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Banned Bama Booster at Richardson Bday Party!?

Nick Saban wasn’t at Trent Richardson’s 2010 birthday party.

Banned Alabama Booster Hosts Trent Richardson's Birthday Party

Though you can’t say the same for disgraced Alabama football booster and Tuscaloosa suit store owner Tom Al-Betar.

Banned Alabama Booster at Trent Richardson's Birthday Party

Al-Betar can be seen in multiple photos, now-deleted from his former Facebook account, enjoying yet another evening at a Tuscaloosa Japanese steakhouse with Richardson - this time perhaps as party host of Richardson’s 19th birthday party. (Al-Betar has now been seen out to dinner with Richardson on three different occasions in Facebook photos.)

Banned Alabama Booster Hosts Trent Richardson's Birthday Party

Red flag?

Not according to the NCAA rules compliance folks representing the University of Alabama. They contend that, despite the school officially disassociating Al-Betar from Alabama Athletics last March, no NCAA rules violations have taken place as it pertains to Al-Betar’s relationship with Richardson and dozens of other Alabama football players over the years.

Banned Alabama Booster Hosts Trent Richardson's Birthday Party

Which must be why just last month Saban said of Al-Betar’s T-Town Menswear store in Tuscaloosa, where Richardson can be seen in dozens of Facebook photos signing personalized Alabama memorabilia that was later prominently displayed inside T-Town Menswear and possibly sold online, inside the store and at least one mall kiosk owned by Al-Betar, that he saw no reason to ban Alabama players from visiting Al-Betar’s store.

“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.”

Since Saban doesn’t think it’s advisable to prevent current Alabama players from visiting Al-Betar’s store, it isn’t unreasonable for many folks to think that Saban and Alabama also previously approved of Al-Betar joining Richardson and other Alabama football players at dinner on multiple occasions - along with Al-Betar accompanying Richardson, his mother and the Bama football star’s two young daughters at another Tuscaloosa establishment on a separate occasion.

Banned Alabama Booster Hosts Trent Richardson's Birthday Party

You see, NCAA rules - as Saban, Alabama Compliance Director Mike Ward and the crack team of NCAA rules enforcement staffers overseen by ever-vigilant NCAA President Mark Emmert will tell you - exist for a very good reason.

Banned Alabama Booster Hosts Trent Richardson's Birthday Party


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Cal Went To ‘Mentor’ Instead of High School Coach

EXCLUSIVE: Cal’s 2010 football recruiting class was so impressive that it earned Golden Bear assistant coach Tosh Lupoi’s “National Recruiter of the Year” award.

Otis Yelverton reportedly offered job by Cal to steer recruit to football program

(Report: Cal offered “mentor” a job after delivering recruits to Lupoi)

Lupoi’s award was due in large part to signing three top prospects from the Greensboro, North Carolina area that year: Keenan Allen, Chris McCain and Gabe King. Current starting Cal quarterback Zach Maynard, a former Greensboro-area high school standout, also joined the squad at the same time thanks to his transfer from the University of Buffalo. (Maynard transferred to Cal expressly to join half-brother Allen.)

So how did Lupoi pull off such a coup?

Speculation has centered on Cal’s relationship to former, well-traveled Greensboro high school assistant football coach Otis Yelverton, who also served as a “mentor” to the aformentioned four players. Cal has confirmed that Yelverton, who has twice filed for bankruptcy since 2003 and was served two Federal Tax Liens totaling over $10,000 in 2007, personally escorted all four players to Berkeley for unofficial visits to the school.

Beyond those trips, Yelverton’s role in Cal’s recruitment of the Greensboro-area players, like the source of funds for his cross-country excursions with the four prospective student-athletes, is unknown.

What isn’t a mystery though is the role Northern Guilford High School coach Johnny Roscoe played in his former players, Keenan Allen and Chris McCain, signing with Cal.


When Allen and McCain signed with Cal on Feb. 3, 2010, representing the heart of a class that earned him college football recruiting’s highest honor, Lupoi had never spoken to Roscoe.

Perhaps that’s why the crown jewel of Cal’s prized recruiting class, N. Guilford’s Allen, was barred from holding a press conference at his own school to announce the news. A press conference presided over by Yelverton, who had previously been “released” from his duties as a “non-faculty” assistant coach at N. Guilford.

Allen’s decision to choose Cal was a controversial one, to say the least. Long-committed to Alabama, Allen flipped to Cal at the last moment. Allen’s recruitment by Nick Saban was so high profile that the TUSCALOOSA NEWS covered the Greensboro press conference in which Allen mystified much of the college football world with his Cal announcement.

Though in its coverage of the Yelverton-led presser, the Alabama newspaper reported what may have been the reason Allen, McCain and King (and Maynard) chose Lupoi’s Cal:

A source at a school involved with Allen’s recruitment said coaches heard that Yelverton had been offered a job at Cal for steering the player ranked No. 5 overall in the nation by, and that Allen’s parents would be moving to California to stay close to their son.

Before Allen announced his decision, his mother, Dorie Lang, was asked whether the family will move to be close to the player.

“I don’t know that yet,” she said.

Beyond that, Team Allen would say little to The Tuscaloosa News. Angered that Lang had been asked about a possible move, Yelverton complained to the manager of the bar and grill and the News’ correspondent was asked to leave before the signing ceremony began.

Outside Coyote’s Dueling Piano Bar, Allen’s father declined to answer questions.

“I’m real protective of my family,” Scott Lang said. “These last three, four days have been very stressful for us and now we’re going to go home and relax.

“There’s so much more to this whole thing than people realize. I’m just not comfortable with a lot of it.”

The on-the-record discomfort expressed by Allen’s father about his son’s last-second switch to Cal, along with the fact that Lupoi never spoke to Allen’s high school coach throughout the recruitment process - and Allen being forbidden from holding a signing day press conference at his own high school - make Cal head coach Jeff Tedford’s supposed hardline stance on the “fringes of recruiting” in a recent interview indisputably ironic.

Willie Lyles and Jeff Tedford

On March 4, 2011, Dan Rubenstein and Ty Hildenbrandt of asked Tedford during a podcast for the website:

“I want to call them characters in the nicest possible way that we’ve been seeing this offseason on the fringes of recruiting.  How do you and your staff address those types of situations?”


“We haven’t run across that. We typically deal with the player, the coaches and their families so we really don’t get involved in any of the other stuff.

“Obviously everyone uses recruiting services but that’s just to gather data and not depend on what they have to say or what their opinions are or anything like that. It’s really solely collection the information that you need on where the prospects are so you can have a pretty good idea on where to go recruit.

“But as far as people being involved, we haven’t really run into that. We’re really just focused on what important to the kid and go through the school and his coaches.”

The year before Cal and Tedford paid $5,000 to the NCAA-targeted Willie Lyles for his “recruiting services” - and three weeks before top Texas high school prospect Lache Seastrunk made a Lyles-escorted recruiting visit to the same Cal-Berkeley campus Yelverton escorted eventual, Lupoi-signed recruits to  - Tedford said the following at Cal’s 2009 signing day press conference:

It’s a little unsettling because sometimes they go underground and you can’t get hold of them. You don’t know what’s happening, so you just continue to try. With not being able to text now, now you just have to call and you get an answering machine. So you’re really at their mercy. It’s a helpless feeling when you don’t know the information. You can’t counterpoint something you don’t know about, so that’s some of it. But it’s so competitive. No one’s going to give up. Everybody is going to always continue to battle right down to the end. Obviously, the people we are recruiting against are very good programs and very competitive that way.”

Is it unreasonable to think that at least part of the reason Tedford’s Cal paid Lyles $5,000 was to ensure a unique level of access to Seastrunk and other Texas recruits associated with Lyles?

And that the some manner of compensation may have been directed to Yelverton on an informal, undocumented and perhaps tacit basis for similar access to prospective student-athletes?

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Dinner: Trent’s Baby Daughters, Mom, BOOSTER!?

Here’s a photo - uploaded to Facebook on February 11, 2011 - of current Alabama star running back Trent Richardson, his two baby daughters and Richardson’s mother Katrina taken by disassociated Alabama booster and Tuscaloosa suit store owner Tom Al-Betar:

Trent Richardson his two baby girls and his mom with Tom Albetar out to dinner

The photo was taken February 9, 2011 with the following Facebook caption provided by the disgraced UA supporter Al-Betar:

Trent Richardson Katrina Richardson and Tom Al-Betar at T-Town Menswear

“Trent and he’s Momm and kids at dinner two days ago having fun with my boy.”

Al-Betar, who earlier this year confirmed to the TUSCALOOSA NEWS that he sells Alabama football memorabilia inside his suit store, also had a photo on his Facebook account showing Richardson and his mother in T-Town Menswear on New Year’s Day, 2010 - before Alabama’s national championship game against Texas. Read more…

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, 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 - 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.

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Did UA Compliance Apprise Saban Of NCAA Rule?

Chase Goodbread of reported last week that during a recent Dallas radio show appearance, Nick Saban said he didn’t think it was necessary to ban his players from T-Town Menswear in Tuscaloosa.

Per NCAA bylaw, Trent Richardson is ineligible

(Full Size)

Saban to Ian Fitzsimmons of 103.3 ESPN Radio in Dallas:

“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.”

Saban made that remark despite the fact that ..

A) .. his own school recently claimed it officially disassociated the owner of the store four months ago.

B) .. NCAA bylaw 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.)

Translation: An endorsement.

Above is a photo posted here last week of current Alabama football player Trent Richardson signing a display piece near the entrance of T-Town Menswear. Below the top photo is an image showing an identical, Richardson-signed print displayed in a storefront window at T-Town Menswear.

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How Stuff Works: A SEC Investigation In Progress

Behold the power of household cleaning products and old blankets.

Photo: An SEC Investigation In Progress (Nick Saban, Mike Slive, Cecil Newton, Mark Emmert)

Full size.

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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, 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.

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