Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The University of Alabama Board Is Led By A Thug, So Why Shouldn't Football Players Act Like Thugs?

(Clockwise, from upper left) UA
football players Brent Calloway, Tyler
Hayes, Eddie Williams, and
D.J. Pettway
The University of Alabama football program today is splashed across the nation's sports pages--for all of the wrong reasons. But we really should not be surprised.

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.
Powerful evidence suggests that Bryant Jr. and his business associates avoided federal prison terms only because of their ties to our state's white legal establishment. How did Bryant gain such exalted status? Well, it surely helped that his father, the late Paul "Bear" Bryant, was Alabama's Hall of Fame football coach. It also probably helped that, according to published reports, Bryant Jr. is a millionaire many times over.

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.


Anonymous said...

The law doesn't apply to rich white guys like PBJ. The Obama DOJ lets Wall Street fat cats go, so why not an insurance fraudster?

Anonymous said...

Do you really think any of these players know who Paul Bryant Jr. is?

James Greek said...

It's bad enough that former Alabama football player Kenny Stabler got a DUI in 2008. And he got off since the judge was an Alabama grad.

Anonymous said...

Older white guy gets treated one way. Young black guys get treated another. Sounds like a case for Jesse Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Brent Calloway needs to write a book: "How to Screw Up Your College Football Career In Three Easy Lessons." He's made one bad decision after another, starting with going to UA when he could have gone to Auburn and been a stud running back there.

Bo said...

I'm all right with anything, as long as no one messes with A.J. McCarron's girlfriend.

Bill Schmalfeldt said...

Hey, Roger... wanna be a guest on my show tomorrow to talk Biden/Siegelman?


Anonymous said...

@ James Greek
Stabler didn't get off because the judge went to UA. He actually only went to law school there. Stabler got off that charge because he lucked out getting the most corrupt judge in AL! A corrupt judge who is not above taking money for favors. Doesn't get much worse than that scumbag.

e.a.f. said...

I do expect the 4 young foot ball players will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law so as to set an example that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. That of course is for black students only.

Robbing some one? Well these foot ball player take all the risk and don't get the money the university makes off of them, so maybe they were just short of money. doesn't excuse what they did but hey, if you don't have money, you don't have money and in the USA the best way to get money is too steal it. Just ask all those CEOs and politicians.

I'd suggest these young men simply receive suspended sentences and community service. there i no point in sending them to jail. The jails are full any how.

James Greek said...

Hmm... Good points Anon @ 8:08!