A Sports Illustrated story printed Monday alleges that two gamers from Alabama’s 2009 nationwide championship soccer crew accepted money in change for signing their names to memorabilia.
Cliff Panezich, who bought signed sports activities memorabilia, informed Sports Illustrated that he and Adam Bollinger paid Alabama gamers Marquis Johnson and Terrence Cody $200 and $400, respectively, in December 2009. Johnson denied that he was paid for his autograph and informed the journal that he didn’t know Panezich. Cody declined remark.
It’s unclear whether or not the allegations would have fallen inside the NCAA’s statute of limitations, which covers 4 years until it’s proven that there was a “pattern of willful violations” that started earlier than the four-year window however continued into the present four-year window, or a “blatant disregard for certain fundamental rules” resembling recruiting, further advantages, lecturers, moral conduct or an “effort to conceal violations.”
According to the report, some Alabama gamers, together with quarterback Greg McElroy, signed the memorabilia however refused fee to be able to keep in compliance with NCAA guidelines.
Panezich and Bollinger informed Sports Illustrated they waited for gamers exterior of the athletic dormitories throughout winter break whereas the crew wasn’t working towards, first encountering Johnson, who then allegedly recruited different gamers to take part.
An Alabama spokesman informed SI, partially, “As part of our comprehensive compliance and education program, we routinely review all situations of potential concern and address matters such as these with all of our student-athletes.”
In December 2016, Panezich pleaded responsible in Youngstown, Ohio, to aggravated theft, identification fraud, telecommunications fraud, cash laundering, participating in a sample of corrupt exercise and three counts of forgery with a forfeiture specification.
In April, he was sentenced to 6 years in jail. Prosecutors say he was the mastermind behind an enterprise that bought sports activities gadgets with faux athlete signatures to shut to 20,000 individuals.