Gene Jelks, a former Alabama football player, says he was paid thousands of dollars by coaches and school boosters during his career with the Crimson Tide. In a copyright story in today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jelks, a cornerback and captain on Alabama's 1989 Southeastern Conference championship team, charged that: "I was bought and sold to the university."
He said money was funneled to him and his mother while he was still in high school to obligate him to play for the Crimson Tide. The NCAA, which prohibits such payments, has contacted Jelks' attorney about the allegations.
Jelks claims his mother, Doris, and then-Alabama assistant coach Jerry Pullen orchestrated his signing in 1985 when he was in high school.
Alabama officials and supporters dispute the allegations. Jelks' mother also denied taking any money.
A year after Eric Ramsey stunned Auburn's football program with secretly recorded tapes and allegations of illegal cash payments about that program, Jelks has produced his own tapes alleging NCAA violations by Alabama. Jelks said he taped conversations with Pullen and others to document the payments, which included a $2,100 signing bonus after he enrolled at Alabama and money to help him make payments on a car.