Alabama releases cease-and-desist letter

Months after Alabama sent a cease-and-desist letter to the owner of T-Town Menswear, al.com newspapers obtained the letter Sunday night.

On Dec. 22, Alabama sent the letter to the business asking it to stop the sale or distribution of items depicting student-athletes.

Here is an excerpt from Alabama's letter to T-Town Menswear:

It has been brought to our attention that you are selling or distributing, for commercial purposes, items depicting current University of Alabama student-athletes, specifically, items autographed by current student-athletes. The use of a current student-athlete's name or likeness on commercial items offered for sale, or for advertising or promotional purposes, without his or her knowledge or permission can jeopardize the student-athlete's eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics with the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

According to al.com newspapers, Alabama didn't submit a report to the SEC or the NCAA because it determined that no infractions were committed.

NCAA bylaw that discusses nonpermissable promotional activities states:

Subsequent to becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual:

a.Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind, or

b. Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service.

NCAA bylaw requires student-athletes to take the necessary steps to stop such an activity, in order to retain eligibility:

If a student-athlete’s name or picture appears on commercial items (e.g., T-shirts, sweatshirts, serving trays, playing cards, posters, photographs) or is used to promote a commercial product sold by an individual or agency without the student-athlete’s knowledge or permission, the student-athlete (or the institution acting on behalf of the student-athlete) is required to take steps to stop such an activity in order to retain his or her eligibility for intercollegiate athletics.

Sources told ESPN's Joe Schad that Alabama looked into the relationship between the store and players such as star running back Trent Richardson and found the players didn't receive benefits, like merchandise or discounts.

It seems as though Alabama has taken the necessary steps in this situation and has concluded that Tide players didn't knowingly sign their names to items that they knew would be sold.

But in light of the memorabilia-selling situation at Ohio State, the NCAA might still want to take a peek at the situation in order to make sure everything is as Alabama says.