For those of you who haven’t checked Twitter or checked the news, today Yahoo Sports came out with a damaging article about impermissible benefits that DJ Fluker received from an agent and former Alabama player.
A source connected with Luther Davis, a former defensive lineman from 2007-2010 for the Tide, turned over texts, receipts, bank statements and numerous other pieces of tangible evidence that Fluker (and his family) received a king size bed, rent, cash payments, flights among several items. It’s damning evidence and it’s all tangible, meaning it’s not conjecture.
At this point, it would be nearly impossible to proclaim any innocence on behalf of Fluker. I think it’s fairly obvious the reporters did a very good job in rounding up irrefutable proof to back their story. The real question isn’t one of guilt or evidence because I think that answer is fairly obvious. The real question is how will this story impact Alabama?
First, the timing of the release of this story couldn’t be worse for Alabama. You can bet your bottom dollar that Yahoo Sports picked this week for a reason and it’s no coincidence that this story was released this week before the biggest game of the entire college football season. The web hits and the publicity for this story will be astronomical and Yahoo will make a mint off of advertising.
Second, at this point I’d say it’s impossible for anyone to confidently predict what the NCAA will do with this story with any degree of certainty. However, they certainly will be investigating it. The damages to Alabama will be mitigated if there is no proof that anyone connected with the University of Alabama was aware of these dealings with Luther Davis. If the University can state that they were completely unaware and no one can provide proof to the contrary, then this story will go away just as the allegations related to Tank Black did back in the day.
However, if it can be proved that a staff member, a coach or any other member of the Alabama support staff had any sort of knowledge about these allegations, that’s when it would be time to panic.
As it stands now, it would appear that all of the money is linked solely to DJ Fluker and his family so, as of now, Alabama would have plausible deniability regarding any dealings with Luther Davis. I’d expect this story to eventually become a non-story when it cannot be proven that anyone within the walls of the Alabama staff had any knowledge of the events detailed so thoroughly in the story.
Time will tell…and with the NCAA we certainly won’t be told anything for quite some time…