|(Clockwise, from upper left) UA|
football players Brent Calloway, Tyler
Hayes, Eddie Williams, and
Four Crimson Tide football players have been arrested and suspended in connection with the beating and robbery of a fellow student. My initial reaction to the news probably was similar to that of many sports fans. It went something like this: "Those players are a disgrace, and they should be ejected from the campus immediately."
But then it occurred to me: Why should football players, some of whom probably are from disadvantaged backgrounds, be held to a higher standard than the president of the university's board of trustees?
I'm talking about Paul Bryant Jr., who sits atop the body that governs the three-campus UA System. As we have reported in a series of posts here at Legal Schnauzer, Bryant has documented ties to a $15-million insurance-fraud scheme. In 1997, a Philadelphia lawyer and entrepreneur named Allen W. Stewart was convicted on a variety of charges and received a 15-year prison sentence. He only recently was granted freedom.
Alabama Reassurance, one of Bryant's Tuscaloosa-based companies under the Greene Group umbrella, was implicated in the scheme. (See document at the end of this post.) Federal investigators were set to target Alabama Re after the Stewart conviction, but someone in the U.S. attorneys office for the Northern District of Alabama called off the probe.
G. Douglas Jones, a Clinton appointee and University of Alabama graduate, served as U.S. attorney at the time. Jones now is a lawyer at the Birmingham firm Haskell Slaughter and has refused on multiple occasions to answer our questions about the canceled Alabama Re investigation.
|Paul Bryant Jr.|
Will the accused Crimson Tide football players receive the same considerations that were afforded to the man who now leads their university? It doesn't look like it; a large legal hammer appears set to come down upon them.
Is that partly because all four players--Eddie Williams, Tyler Hayes, D.J. Pettway, and Brent Calloway--are black? A reasonable person could come to that conclusion.
The victim of the attack surely wants the players prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law--and it looks like that will happen. The public probably supports swift and sure punishment--and that is understandable.
But before we rush to judgment on four UA freshmen, perhaps we should at least consider what Paul Bryant Jr. has gotten away with--and why he got away with it.