As talk radio and message boards buzz with allegations the Tuscaloosa Police Department has targeted Alabama football players, one thing I can verify: The arrests last summer were an issue during the recruiting season.
I was told by one recruiter, the issue was raised by prospects last year. I was told recruits ask about the opportunities to have fun on a campus; something all students are interested in knowing before enrolling.
The expectation is the Rashad Johnson arrest will exacerbate the problem in the next recruiting class.
It doesn’t matter if the Tuscaloosa police are targeting football players or not, Tommy Tuberville, and others in the SEC West are going to use this issue.
Whatever is happening in Tuscaloosa, there remains political tension between the University and the city government. Why? There remains a strain over the University’s plans on the Strip (which were later scrapped or modified), and the Fall 2006 policy requiring freshmen to live on campus.