Alabama has disassociated from a local store owner for three years but says he didn't break any NCAA rules.
Alabama officials had ordered T-Town Menswear owner Stan Albetar in December to stop selling, distributing or promoting items signed by or depicting current athletes. Compliance director Mike Ward said in a statement Tuesday that Albetar appeared to be in compliance with the rules and that an internal investigation didn't turn up any indication that an athlete received extra benefits.
''Our review of this matter was a part of our normal compliance program,'' Ward said. ''We routinely look at all situations of potential concern. Based on our review of this matter, we concluded that Mr. Albetar was in compliance with NCAA regulations. It is not a violation for student-athletes to sign autographs and it is not a violation for a business to display photos, jerseys or other items depicting current student-athletes. We found no evidence that any student-athlete received any extra benefits.
''Due to the concerns expressed in our letter to Mr. Albetar dated March 31, 2011, we disassociated him from our program. As we always do in matters of this nature, we discussed this matter with the SEC Office. Because we found no evidence of any NCAA violation, we did not self-report a violation. ''
Pictures of running back Trent Richardson were posted on the Internet along with pictures of other memorabilia, some from current football players.
The March letter, released by the university Tuesday, stated that Albetar had potentially put the university and athletes at risk by displaying memorabilia even if no violations were committed.
''This risk includes exposing our student-athletes to potential NCAA investigations or sensationalized journalism based on assumptions that wrongdoing has taken place,'' the letter from Ward said. ''Both can result in temporary suspension while additional inquiries are conducted.''