Now that Trent Richardson, Marquis Maze, Dre Kirkpatrick, Brad Smelley, Josh Chapman, Courtney Upshaw, and Mark Barron are all professionals guess where did they decide to sell their autographs?
Yep, you guessed it, at T-Town Menswear, the place of business of disassociated Alabama booster Tom Albetar.
You’ll recall that back in the summer Alabama kindly notified OKTC they had disassociated Albetar from the university and that none of the players had known their autographs were being sold by the former booster.
So it’s an amazing coincidence that seven members of Alabama’s 2012 class happened to show right back up at T-Town Menswear and cash in barely a week after their eligibility ended.
I mean, how could they ever have known that there was money to be made off their signatures at this store?
Now doing business on Facebook as T-Town Gallery, Albetar — who has now changed his name to Tom Sadow — and crew advertised the signing just 11 days after the BCS title game in New Orleans.
“AUTOGRAPH SIGNING: Friday January 20, 2012: Mark Baron, Marquis Maze, Dont’a Hightower, Dre Kirkpatrick, Courtney Upshaw, Josh Chapman, and Brad Smelley from 5pm to 9pm. $200 for all signatures or $35 a piece.
Saturday, January 21, 2012: Trent Richardson with Roy Upchurch from 5pm to 7 pm. $50 for both signatures.”
Here are the players signing on January 20th. You can check out the gallery here.
And here’s our old chum Albetar, the disassociated Bama booster, posing with Big Al at the signing. (Hell, maybe it’s a fake Big Al which would be perfect. Will the fake Big Al get a cease and desist letter from the university too? Will the fake Big Al also ignore it and keep thumbing its nose at the NCAA?)
But the most interesting thing about the galleries posted online which you can check out here is how downright similar the Trent Richardson pictures from 2011 look to the Trent Richardson pictures from 2012.
Now these are from Richardson signing multiple jerseys in 2011, before his junior year with the Crimson Tide.
These objects were put up for sale and Alabama argued that Richardson had no knowledge of that fact and received no compensation.
Does anyone not wearing crimson colored glasses really believe that Trent Richardson didn’t know Tom Albetar was selling his autographs back in 2011? If so, why did he go back to Albetar as soon as he could in 2012 to let him sell more autographs?
Because he knew that Albetar was damn good at selling his signed objects.
Think about this for a minute, of all the places in Tuscaloosa to sell their autographs seven Alabama players chose to go to the only disassociated booster running a store in town. The only one. And that’s not shady as hell? Why did they do this?
Simple — because they’d already sold their autographs before.
Scroll through the galleries posted online and you’ll find current Bama players like Kenny Bell and Cyrus Kouandjio pictured with Albetar/Sadow. If you’re Alabama why in the world does a disassociated booster still have the run of your team in Tuscaloosa? Is any other disassociated booster in America hosting autograph signings?
I’ll tell you why he still has access to players — because if Tom Albetar/Sadow ever decided to squeal, those two Bama national titles would disappear in a heartbeat. (Here’s Julio Jones signing a stack of jerseys at the same store before the 2009 national title.)
Think that might be why Nick Saban still isn’t even putting the store off limit to his players? Because he knows Tom Albetar has the goods to sink his program if he ever talked?
Witness this photo of Albetar/Sadow with Dre Kirkpatrick, a new car, and what appears to be a Regions deposit envelope full of cash.
What could possibly go wrong?
Meanwhile how close are Albetar and Trent Richardson? He even travels with him to autograph events in other cities now. In Alabama polo shirts with Trent Richardson’s name and jersey number on them.
This picture was taken last weekend in Gadsden, Alabama.
Yeah, there’s nothing shady going on here at all.
(Insert Alabama fan “your gay” insult here).
Regardless, I’m not going to lie, I like the guts here. These Bama players just shot the equivalent of two double birds at the NCAA. And Trent Richardson just drove over the top of them in one of his three luxury vehicles.
Roll Tide roll.