A couple of years ago Alabama disassociated the booster from the program after he sold lots of player autographs. Alabama argued -- wink and nod -- that the players had no idea their autographs were being sold.
In its letter disassociating him from the program Alabama instructed Al-betar as follows, "You should refrain from obtaining any items of memorabilia from our student-athletes, including used equipment and apparel. You should also refrain from obtaining autographs from our student-athletes when they are in your store."
Despite Alabama's hectoring letter, Al-betar didn't just "refrain from obtaining any items of memorabilia from our student-athletes," he opened a memorabilia store designed to sell these objects!
AJ's in at least 13 or 14 different outfits, meaning he made a regular habit of signing autographs and hanging out in a mall store that then sold his autographs.
He even brought his mom by.
That's completely normal, right?
I mean, raise your hand if you weren't friends with an old guy who ran a mall store while you were in college.
There's nothing to see here at all.
Move right along.
Alabama's compliance office has got this covered.
They're on it, guys.
Look, I don't begrudge any player getting paid for his autograph, but if you don't think it's hysterical that a mall-store owner in Tuscaloosa holds Nick Saban's entire legacy in the palm of his hand, you aren't a college football fan.
If Al-betar ever talked, Nick Saban's dynasty would be a smoldering pile of ruins.
Indeed, Al-betar may be the only guy in Tuscaloosa who doesn't give a damn what Nick Saban says. (That's probably why the players like him.) Because he's still hanging out with players and violating NCAA rules by having current players sign jerseys, cleats, wrist bands, and gloves that they know will then be sold.
God bless you, Tom, I'm actually becoming a fan of yours. Unlike the NCAA, at least you're paying the players for their work.
But I think it's definitely time for Alabama to send him another letter.