All That and a Bag of Mail: Bama’s Latest Scandal

Welcome back to the mailbag, you can stop pretending to work for the next fifteen minutes. Even though, let’s be honest, you’ve been pretending not to work for several hours now already.

It’s Friday, after all.

Thanks to you guys, the mailbag is stacked.

Our old buddy, beaver pelt trader of the week, Tom Al-betar has a ton of videos up online featuring endorsements from recently graduated Alabama players.

The best is the one I’ve linked below.

Tom is the godfather of Roy Upchurch’s child.

The godfather!

He runs a freaking memorabilia store.  

Watch the video. 

Nope, nothing shady about this at all. 

Here’s Tom’s Twitter feed.

He definitely spells like a Bama fan. 

Carson P. writes a question that a ton of you asked.

“Clay,

How does Bama deal with this booster? What are the serious steps you can take to keep him at bay or put him in a bay preferably a deep one.

Obviously the players need to be punished internally to help spread the message of “off limits”.

If you were Bill Battle how would you handle?”

I know that Bama is debating this internally right now. 

What I think they’ve already realized is that trying to do something to Al-betar isn’t going to work. He’s clearly disregarded all threats that they’ve made to him. I don’t necessarily blame him for this — there’s nothing illegal about what he’s doing. Sure, he violates NCAA rules, but so what? Unless the NCAA is willing to hammer players for violating NCAA rules then he’s going to just ignore any demands Bama makes on him.

Why would he change his behavior?

He’s making money off the players — probably sharing the proceeds with them — come on, otherwise why are all these Bama players hanging around him? — and all is going fine from his perspective.

So he’s not going to change his behavior unless the players are threatened.

I do think he’ll protect the players. 

Bama can’t sue him. 

I mean, you could, you can always sue anyone for just about anything, but you can’t sue him with a reasonable expectation of winning anything. 

Plus, you definitely don’t want to sue him and put him under oath in a deposition talking about his relationships with Alabama players. What if he’s actually honest because he fears perjury charges? The entire Alabama program would collapse because Alabama sued him. 

So there’s a zero percent chance that Bama sues him. 

And i suspect Al-betar knows this. 

That means the Tide doesn’t have any real recourse when it comes to Al-betar and so the only option is to put Al-betar off limits to all Tide players. 

But, get this, Nick Saban already rejected the idea back in 2011. Even before Al-betar opened the memorabilia store and started selling autographed game worn gear of current players.  

And this is where Alabama could be in trouble. Nick Saban specifically said he saw no reason to ban his players from going to the store. Really? Nick Saban, the most control-freak of control-freak head coaches, is okay with his players hanging out with a guy who could destroy his entire program and his entire coaching legacy if he started to talk? A guy that Alabama disassociated as a booster?

I mean think about how crazy this is. 

How many other disassociated boosters is Saban okay with his players spending time with?

Any?

Which is how we end up in this situation. 

Some random Tuscaloosa mall-store owner could wipe out everything Nick Saban ever accomplished if he just talked about everything that he’s done for Bama players.  

That’s the real story here, Saban and Bama are trapped.

Al-betar has the goods on them. They know it, he knows it, it’s why he can continue to do what he’s doing.  

Bama’s in a tough spot here.

Good thing the NCAA is an impotent, worthless organization, because this story is much bigger than the Ohio State player scandal that ended up costing Jim Tressel his job.  

Chris C. writes:

“I just saw that Kellen Winslow got busted wackin’ it in a Target parking lot. What would be your top five most embarrassing places to be caught strokin’ the ole’ love rocket? (Excluding places like a school or playground…..because that’s obviously serious, psychotic behavior.). A church? Out-of-town business retreat? Nick Saban’s office?”

Quoth the police report:

“As she exited her vehicle, she commented to the male regarding how cold it was. As she stood near the open driver side window of the Escalade, she observed the males [sic] erect penis. She stated that she believed he was masturbating. [The woman] provided a written statement regarding her account.”

The cop also noticed, “two open containers of vaseline.”

Which gives Winslow his best locker room defense, “Hey, bro, at least I need two vaselines to jerk off in the Target parking lot. You only need one, loser.”

Here’s my list:

1. By your mom

Regardless of where it is.

2. By your grandma

Regardless of where it is.

When we were 14 a good friend of mine got caught jerking off to one of those “sexy” Florida postcards while he was visiting my friend’s grandma’s house. By my friend’s grandma.

Twenty years later I still can’t even think about this story without laughing.  

3. Anywhere in a public parking lot.

What’s crazy is, this is incredibly common.

At least half the women reading this right now either have seen a guy masturbating in a parking lot or have a friend who has.  

4. At work while reading Outkick the Coverage. 

You’re laughing, but I know some of you have. 

Maybe you’ve even crawled down underneath your desks with your smartphones like a bunch of derelict masturbating hobos.

5. In the bed beside your wife or girlfriend when you think she’s sleeping after she’s declined to have sex with you. 

Every married man’s like, how’d you know?

You know what’s also funny about this list?

These are just for men. 

If a woman masturbates in a public parking lot or at work, every guy reading this right now is thinking to himself, “God, that’s awesome. I love her.”

If the girl’s hot enough, this would go viral online.

Your buddies would all email you, “Check out how hot this chick is, she’s masturbating in a Target parking lot!”

Meanwhile, a guy might go to jail for doing the exact same thing. 

Equal protection, my ass. 

Mark writes:

“I’ve been married to my amazing wife for eight years, and we have two beautiful kids together. We have a great marriage. However, I have a problem. My wife continuously seeks help for “man jobs” from her father without ever asking me. For example, the other day my father in law was over for a quick visit. Out of nowhere, my wife asks him if he could put the doors for our laundry room on. The doors have been off and in storage for as long as I can remember, and my wife has never once asked me to do it. Then right there in front of me, she asks her dad to do it. This has happened continuously over the last 8 years from household projects, flat tires, etc. I’ll just come home and my father in law will be doing something my wife has asked him to do. I’m fully capable of completing the tasks that she wants done, she just never asks me. I’m sure at this point, her dad thinks I am completely incapable of doing basic needs around the house to take care of my family. I’ve mentioned this problem to my wife a few times and its usually something along the lines of ” you’re overreacting” or “I didn’t want to bother you.” I do not know if my wife completely doubts my ability to accomplish these tasks or what. Either way, it needs to stop.”

Okay, my guess here is that she thinks you’re not able to do the jobs, but doesn’t want to embarrass you by asking.

For instance, you say the laundry room doors have been in storage “for as long as you can remember.” And that your wife has “never once asked me to do it.”

Why did you guys buy the laundry room doors then? To leave them in storage forever? 

At some point the expectation had to be that they would be put up, right?

Speaking as a man who is often asked to do things that I never actually do, I often have no recollection of being asked to do things around the house. This drives my wife crazy — and probably your wife too — but I’m not lying abut my lack of recollection either. I have important things to do with my time in the house. Like think up the most embarrassing places to be caught masturbating. You expect me to think up the most embarrassing places to be caught masturbating and take out the garbage? In the same day? Who am I, Superman?

My wife’s dad is an engineer who lives in Michigan.

Every time he comes to our house, my wife has a series of projects she expects him to handle. Projects that she hasn’t even requested my help with.

I can’t fix anything around the house. Nor do I even try. I think it’s important to know your talents and recognize your limitations.

I’m very good at two things — push ups and dick jokes.

Otherwise, I’m pretty much worthless.   

So my father-in-law does the repairs while I write dick jokes. (Newsflash, my father-in-law is AWFUL at dick jokes.).

Our economy is predicated on this fact — do what you’re good at and hire other people to do what you’re not good at. I think it’s stupid when people are awful at things, yet out of pride, feel compelled to do it themselves. Your free time is valuable, if you don’t like doing something and can afford to pay someone else to do it, why would you do it?

Plus, I doubt your father-in-law is thinking less of you in these situations. He’s probably just glad to still be useful for his daughter; he used to do everything for her and now he probably doesn’t do very much at all. Your wife probably thinks you do a ton and doesn’t want to add to your responsibilities.

So I’d tend to let this go.

If it really upsets you though, discuss it with your wife and leave aside some things for your father-in-law to do. 

Now, if you come home one day and your father-in-law has taken out a new mortgage for you and the back side of your house has been removed to add on a thousand new square feet of living space, then I’d think you have a reason to be upset.

Now?

I’d just let it go.  

David G. writes:

“Are you upset that Amy Adams’s boobs got snubbed for best supporting actress?”

Quite. 

That was the best sideboob performance in movie history. (Season Five of “Mad Men,” made the TV sideboob an art form). 

Here are the actual Oscar nominees, in which Amy Adams got a much-deserved best actress nomination.

Should we start an Outkick Oscar for best performance by a set of boobs?

My nominees so far this year would be: Jennifer Lawrence — she’s getting nominated for the next ten years no matter how awful the movie is, Margot Robbie in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and Amy Adams in “American Hustle.” We have two more spots left. I’m oepn to your nominees.  

I don’t get to see every boob performance now that I have a five year old and a three year old. Prior to that, I could tell you every great boob performance from Princess Leia on Jabba’s lap all the way up to the queen in “300” in the year 2007. 

Billy Q. writes:

“I argue that there is no better gig anywhere than Clayton Kershaw raking in $30 million/yr pretty much guaranteed. I realize there are other athletes with more exposure making way more money when you count endorsement deals and whatnot (Lebron James, Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, etc.), but this guy is a relative unknown outside the baseball world when you compare him to other top athletes. He can fly under the radar most places which I’m sure would be appealing to lots of celebrities. My question is…Is there anyone on the planet making that kind of money that WOULDN’T trade jobs with him? Most people that earn that much dough have many more obligations than just working 1 out of every 5 days for part of the year (top actors, other athletes, CEOs, whatever). Enlighten us wise one…

I can’t think of any better job than a starting pitcher making $30 million a year.

None, in the entire world.

Not that you have to make off your own talents, anyway. I mean, there are always scions of huge American fortunes who make more than $30 million a year without even working a minute in their lives. But that’s just dumb luck. They don’t have any actual talent to market.   

Kershaw’s going to make nearly a quarter of a billion dollars over the next seven years and he will probably start, what, 33 games a year for the next seven years? I know he “works” on other days, but actual on the mound work, he’s going to put in, at most, 210 days of work over the next seven years. That’s assuming that he doesn’t get hurt. Remember, this contract is guaranteed, so even if he blew out his arm tomorrow, he’d still collect all this money. So he could never work another day in his life and still cash these checks.   

Remember when the cabal of sports bloggers who all think and write the same thing flipped out when Bleacher Report sold for $200 million? 

The Dodgers are paying one guy more than that.

I honestly can’t think of a better job.  

Brian B. writes:

“You’ve made The Bachelor sound like compelling TV lately. While I haven’t watched it yet myself, I’m wondering if you could put ‘Man Watches The Bachelor’ into context? Can you name something slightly more and slightly less embarrassing, so we know exactly where it stands? Also, how strongly do you recommend people watch?”

I mean, it’s Monday and football is over. 

What else are you watching on TV?

If you’re a single man and you aren’t watching “The Bachelor,” you’re giving up at least two sexual encounters a year that can be entirely related to your ability to talk about “The Bachleor” with a woman. I’m not kidding. You don’t need to know anything else about women. If you can talk about “The Bachelor,” you can find women who will sleep with you for this reason alone. (The same is also true of the “Real Housewives,” shows, but married women tend to watch those more than single women).

So in terms of the embarrassment that comes from a single man watching alone by himself?

I’d rank it as not as embarrassing as attending an excercise dance class with your girlfriend, but as more embarrassing than ordering a vodka-cranberry for yourself at a crowded bar.   

Anonymous writes:

“I just switched jobs from a nice, easy-going firm to a highly corporate multinational monolith. (For the record, it was a good move).

How does one broach National Signing Day with the boss? At my old firm, I just took the day off.

Everything is monitored. If I show up in all orange (Vols fan) and start checking my phone like an addict, people are going to ask questions.”

I think you call in sick or take the day off. 

It sounds like this new place is the kind of location where they won’t make the connection to national signing day.

Worst case scenario, you go with the dentist or doctor’s appointment excuse and don’t get in until noon.

By that time most decisions are made already.  

Brock M. writes:

“What do you think is the price point for the SEC to consider expansion again? In other words, how much more money per year per team would it take for the SEC to consider adding a VA or NC school?

First, let’s grind our way through the math. The Sports Business Daily link had a podcast that mentioned the SEC and ESPN will split profits 50/50. For the sake of this discussion we will take that as accurate. Doing the math again leaves each SEC team with about $21.5M a year. ($1.30 x 30M in footprint subscribers x 12 months = $468M divided by 2 to split with ESPN and then divided by 14 for each SEC team = $16.7M, then using the same math for 45M out of footprint subscribers at .25 cents = $4.8M a team). Would roughly $21M a year in tier 3 rights be the accurate number? I understand this doesn’t factor in advertising as well as whatever overhead may exist.

In a previous article you mentioned that the Virginia and North Carolina markets combined equals about 6.2M cable subscribers. That number may have changed but I assume not by much. Nonetheless, using that number, expansion may not be as sure of a bet as expected. Doing the math again for 16 teams and 36.2M in footprint customers and now 39M out of footprint customers means that each SEC team walks away with $250K LESS a year. ($17.6M in footprint + $3.65M out of footprint = $21.25M per team a year).

I understand this does not include the tier 1 and tier 2 rights being negotiated again as well as advertising money. However, knowing that expansion doesn’t make financial sense at the tier 3 level would put much more of an emphasis on the other contracts being more lucrative. How much more money per team would the other contract negotiations have to produce in order for SEC expansion to occur? I would guess that Slive and company wouldn’t even bother listening if it only meant an additional $1M per team but does he listen at $5M? Or would it take even more?”

Good question and nice work all around on the math, which I always find a way to screw up.

As you noted you’re leaving out advertising revenue, which I think will be around 25% of the overall subscription fee dollars, but let’s just assume that advertising is a wash in terms of the cost associated with running the channel. 

I think the key to remember here is that $1.30 a month is the starting point. Eventually, and I’m not sure exactly when, this will be a $2 or $3 a month channel. At those numbers additional expansion starts to make more sense. Particularly when you consider that the Tier 1 and Tier 2, CBS and primary ESPN deal, will continue to grow pretty rapidly. (In fact, we should start to see the Tier 2 numbers going up substantially since that deal has been renegotiated and extended with ESPN already). 

At $3 a month you’re talking about $1.08 billion a year just in the 11 state SEC footprint. Even with a 50/50 split — and we don’t actually know the split which is also a huge part of this equation — you’re talking about $35.7 million per school. Adding the North Carolina and Virginia schools would make it over $40 million a year just from the tier 3 rights.

Four million more per school is a pretty big deal. 

But could the SEC decide that extra revenue isn’t worth the trouble?

Sure.

Do I think it will?

No.

I still believe that schools in Virginia and North Carolina to the SEC are inevitable. It’s just going to take a while for the SEC Network cash to start throwing off gobs of money that can’t be matched elsewhere.   

Good analysis though.

What other site’s readership can run the gamut from masturbation questions to astute analysis of college sports financials in the space of a couple of paragraphs?

None. 

I love you all. 

Yes, even the Alabaman fans.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.