Two days before National Signing Day, Izzy Gould, a beat writer for The Birmingnam News continues his assault on UA athletics.

If you remember, it was Gould who held hands with Paul Finebaum wannabe Kevin Scarbinsky last summer in the “T-Town Menswear” story, one of the biggest non-stories in the history of Alabama reporting.

That story mysteriously broke near SEC media days and the beginning of fall practice, though the actual incident had been introduced, investigated and dismissed by the University of Alabama the winter before.

But the facts of that story didn’t stop Gould’s and Scarbinsky’s vigor to “find something” on Alabama.

If you’ll notice, that sound you hear are thousands of crickets chirping ever since the two media goobs swung with all their might…and whiffed…for their “Pulitzer moment.”

Last night, again just two days before National Signing Day, Gould went on the assault, giving voice to the controversial mother of Crimson Tide commitment, Landon Collins.

If you’ll remember it was Collins’ mother, April Justin, who completely disrespected her son and his wishes on national television during the UnderArmour High School All-Star game.

When the young man had the opportunity to make his decision on where he would go to school, he chose Alabama. Immediately however, his mother (clad in purple and gold) began shaking her head. And, when momma had the mic what did she do? Told America her son had made a mistake.

Most respecting parents have those conversations in private; nothing was final at that point, and signing day, after all, wasn’t until February 1. But Ms. Justin elected to speak her mind with the world watching.

While being recruited, her son had a two-year span of time to make his college choice, and when his moment had finally arrived, momma trampled all over it.

Hard to understand why the young man lives with his father and step-mother. Now THERE might be a good story.

Fast-forward now to Monday night, when Izzy’s little fingers hammered away on his computer, so excited to give this poor excuse for a maternal figure a voice. Someone that selfish, that disrepectful of her own flesh and blood…what in the world is her story worth?

Izzy thought it was priceless. The man at the center of trying to create mayhem for the University of Alabama last summer again had his chance.

This, in a capsule, is what is wrong with the media today. Media members like Izzy Gould want to CREATE stories…or more specifically, BE the story…when in the past members of the media REPORTED stories.

But this is what we’ve come to expect from the feminine hygeine product called The Birmingham News. A “hit piece” on Alabama recruiting two days before National Signing Day, while The News, again, run by an Auburn graduate, continues to lob layups at the school in Lee County.

Where was the investigative piece on Cam Newton?

Where was the investigative piece Sunday night when Arik Armstead chose Oregon over Auburn, mainly because Oregon’s Chip Kelly “didn’t do any negative recruiting.” The obvious insinuation there is that Auburn, and others did. Where’s the story there? What did Auburn do? What negative tactics does Auburn employ?

Or here’s a story. Why don’t we investigate why Auburn’s recruiting, one year removed from a national title, is in the toilet. Why isn’t Auburn getting the recruiting “bump” you typically get just after winning it all? Could it be that in the wake of escaping the Cam Newton saga by the skin of their teeth there is now an NCAA microscope that Auburn now lives under, so the tactics of certain towel wavers long thought to be dirty (well before he came to Auburn) have had to be put on hold?

Why else would top recruits like Armstead, TJ Yeldon and probably Eddie Goldman not want to be “Auburn men” fresh off of the Tigers winning their first ever national title?

No, let’s not dig there, Birmingham News. Let’s give voice to a mother who doesn’t even have custody of her own child. Do you know how hard it is for a mother NOT to have custody of her child? Any divorced fathers reading this want to give me an “amen”?

But Izzy, let’s give this person a voice. The birth mother of one of Alabama’s most prized recruits, two days before National Signing Day, who fervently wants her son to do what she wants him to do over what he, his father and others in the family want him to do.

Izzy’s story centers on Collins’ mother’s disdain for Alabama, and her unconfirmed allegation that Alabama head coach Nick Saban offered Collins’ girlfriend an internship ahead of “20 other girls” on a waiting list–as if Ms. Justin would be privy to such inner-circle University knowledge.

But ole Izzy quotes this lady chapter and verse like a revival preacher.

Izzy then quickly points out:

“If Saban did offer Collins’ girlfriend a job, it could violate NCAA bylaw 13.2.1, which prohibits anyone with a school’s athletic interest from making arrangements for giving or offering benefits to a prospective student-athlete’s relatives or friends. NCAA bylaw letter (a) specifically prohibits “an employment arrangement for a prospective student-athlete’s relatives.”

Last time I checked, a girlfriend isn’t a relative. And if she is about to be a UA student, on her own accord, from a family with Alabama ties, good luck swimming in that cesspool of ambiguity.

What Alabama fans are so tired of are Alabama beatwriters who seem to time their stories for maximum effect…or damage. This while Auburn beatwriters continue to pen “feel good” pieces on recruits no one has ever heard of, seemingly right from the Auburn Sports Information Dept. This just months after their pinnacle moment.

Landon Collins, the top safety prospect in the nation, will sign with Alabama on Wednesday, and for her sake, I sincerely hope Ms. Justin the best. We will gladly offer her a second and third chance to demonstrate maturity and good intent for her son, who wants to play for the best head coach and defensive back specialist in America.

Afterall, when Dre Kirkpatrick and Mark Barron go in the first round this April, they’ll be in good company with other DBs Saban has sent to the “money round.”

There’s your story, Izzy. How top talent continues to want top coaching for top opportunity. And who knows. Maybe you wanted to write it and were overuled. But your history in “story creation” in Tuscaloosa suggests otherwise.

And as your “street cred” with Alabama fans along with your newspaper continues to die, hopefully your access to the program will kick the bucket as well.

UPDATE – 01/31/12 – 12:30pm
Izzy Gould appeared on Birmingham-based WJOX at 12:05pm today (01/31/12) to “clarify” the story.

Gould said he did not plan the story for the day before signing day, though the interview if I understood correctly took place last weekend.

On the job itself alledgedly offered to the girlfriend, Gould said he couldn’t get any clarification if such a position existed because Alabama was not talking about it.

“It’s unclear what that job would be,” Gould said, “if there’s any money/credit attached to it.”

Gould said that Collins’ mother didn’t like the way Alabama’s coaching staff handled the recruiting process. Was too focused on getting him to the NFL, didn’t talk enough about academics. She was also clearly upset over the girlfriend and her mother.

(Note mine: Alabama boasts one of the most comprehensive academic centers in the nation, with graduation rates well above the national average, and in the upper echelon of the SEC. I can’t believe this information never came up in Collins’ recruiting process. Selective memory and a preoccupation with a girl trying to steal her son may be at play here.)

And yet, Gould said “April Justin was very complimentary of the Alabama program.” So there seems to be a lot of conflicting information that is “typical of the recruiting process.”

When he asked what she would wear to Landon’s signing (remember her purple and gold at his UnderArmour announcement), Izzy said she told him “She’ll show up wearing something pink.”

Still, why even make this a story? Why not focus on Landon and not on his tacky mom who has made the story about herself? Why focus on unsubstantiated information about a job that may or may not even exist?

Izzy Gould has a job to do, and I am not saying here that he awakes daily with an agenda to sink Alabama. I am saying however that time and association is everything, and his involvement in the T-Town Menswear story last summer will haunt him for a long time when he produces stories like this one that “look” fishy from the start. Giving April Justin an open forum to speak her mind on facts that can’t be substantiated while offering zero rebuttle on matters that she may be overlooking is what stirred the pot on this story for most Bama fans.

It’s fair to say it’s not Gould’s job to tote the water for Alabama. But that doesn’t mean that after running a story like this one, on this particular day, that his next eye contact with Nick Saban in the press room is going to be a comfortable one.

(Follow me on Twitter for news, commentary and smack.)

40 thoughts on “Izzy Gould, B’ham News bashes Alabama once again (updated)”

  1. the headline:

    “Landon Collins’ mother offers rare details into Alabama’s recruiting effort”

    i have not bought a copy of this rag for five years. i’m all the smarter for it.

    if you re a supporter of alabama athletics and you spend a red cent in any form or fashion to purchase this product, what the hell are you thinking?

    this started with the firing of mike shula. the “reporting” of that situation moved me to stop. since, reading them online has only validated my decision.

    i know going to their site helps generate hits that help sell advertising but i do not use products as a result of ads sold to their website.

    i would suggest contacting their advertisers and let them know your feelings about doing business with the snooze.

    i have and still do.

    shoddy reporting around the juwan simpson situation. (that cecil hurt cleared up with ONE PHONE CALL)

    the favoritism shown towards mike shula.

    the favoritism shown to mark gottfried.

    the t’town menswear non-story.

    now this.

    this clown should not be allowed on campus.

    but more to the point, if you are an alabama supporter and you purchase this product,


    (that’s a rhetorical question. YOU’RE NOT THINKING.)

  2. I stopped reading that trashy newspaper years ago, and I always play games with their employees and solicitors when they try to sell me subscriptions. What disturbs me even more is how those honest, hard working, salt of the Earrh AU fans CONTINUE to support the blatant cheating and lack of integrity in their AThletic Dept? Oooooh, Hoopie and FBJ, where art thou???

  3. I have a different point of view regarding Gould’s story. This isn’t a bash piece, IMO. It’s just a report stemming from an interview that Gould (as a reporter) scored from a controversial figure. This is what reporters do.

    If you read the story carefully from the top down, the first six or seven paragraphs torpedo the claims from the Mom blog and Glen Guilbeau that Collins is signing with Bama because the girlfriend got a cushy job.

    The mother says those allegations are “a lie,” and that there is no “job,” per se.

    Gould isn’t supposed to be carrying water for Bama. That’s our job. While the Auburn beat reporters can’t ever seem to muster up the stones to do this kind of reporting on the program they cover, the Bama beat does.

    As a result, it provides information we can use to show that there’s no longer a story here.


  4. Thanks Dave. Good points. However, timing is everything, and two days before signing day Gould offers just enough doubt, mentioning possible NCAA violations, chapter and verse, for this story to seem like anything but another in a long line of serial stories “creating” negativity for Bama. The headline on the front page of today’s B’ham News calls Saban’s recruiting into question.

    Call it hypersensitivity, but after the T-Town Menswear debacle, anything Gould pens is suspect.

    Now. What’s your spin on that one?

    1. Here’s what I hammered out late last night. I got a heads up that Gould was working on a story based on an interview with Collins from Randy Kennedy, the Sports Editor at the Press-Register. He was on WNSP’s SportsDrive radio show yesterday afternoon and said Gould was working on it.

      I’ve updated that and linked to your entry. I don’t disagree that the timing raises eyebrows, and the difference in coverage between the two “bureaus” is also valid.

  5. Might feminine hygiene manufacturers have grounds to sue by comparing their useful products to the useless rag from B’ham? I’m just posing the question with a VBG.

  6. I agree with Dave. However, why does Izzy or any writer reach out to April? Because it will be a sensational piece. She will be a hotter story. Heaven forbid we do a nice piece on Landon himself, who seems like a really smart mature kid. I just hope that this Izzy piece does not embarrass Landon once again. Did Bham news think about that? No, I am sure they dont’ care.

    The bigger story is that Alabama has established a recruiting system that has been working. AU has not established a program, and everyone see that.

    Interesting timing Izzy and Scarbo. Two days before NSD.

    Elephants don’t forget.

  7. By the way, article headline on the same page as Izzy’s in the Press-Register:

    “Auburn checking its wish list, looking for big finish to the recruiting season”
    By Charles Goldberg/Auburn Bureau, The Birmingham News, Press-Register, and The Huntsville Times

    Sometimes it’s hard to believe how easy it is to spot this stuff.

  8. I disagree.

    I think they didn’t have a choice—-they HAD to report on this story.

    And frankly, the week of signing day there is NOTHING to talk about—-this is all they had, and I’ll take whatever I can get. I was looking forward to this week because I thought there would be exciting things to read about, but there isn’t anything, just this Collins story.

    But I think what Izzy did was good—-other stories I read elsewhere did not have nearly the amount of information this one does, in particular the mother’s reaction after the allegations were initially made. If you read the story, he presents the facts as well as the speculation, but after you finish reading it all speaks for itself——–it might SOUND like Izzy is trying to bash Alabama to you, but to me it sounds like he’s the only one giving the information for us to realize that this one little recruiting story we have to talk about the week of signing day is nothing.

    The story is nothing. But if it’s nothing, how do you get people to read it? You make them think it’s something. Everyone else had already done that. If you ask me, Izzy helped clear the air better than anyone else did, even if he didn’t mean to.

    Following last year’s Brent Calloway mess (that wasn’t fun, but this story kinda is), and the Julio Jones stuff the year before, I think this is as close as they could come to a story to get us excited about signing day and I’ll take whatever I can get between January and September when there is no football.

    Let’s put it this way——–this story has only brought Collins into attention, and for nothing. It’s given him and his family the chance to experience and prepare for the hype that surrounds being an elite part of a major program, and it’s PRACTICE This whole situation is like flag football for Landon and his family——-it lets them prepare for these situations, but there’s no real danger.

    1. Here’s the problem with your analysis:

      (1) Izzy completely misrepresented a bylaw (arguably intentionally) for the masses to stumble over all day today

      (2) He simply took as fact a completely uncorroborated statement by an obviously biased individual. I didn’t find a 2nd source in his story, which is what most real journalists require.

      Why not interview Collins himself, who sadly appears to be lightyears ahead of his mother in terms of maturity?

      The reason? Again, I look to the T-Town Menswear story to find my answer.

      1. (2) But nobody else did either, that’s all.

        Look, I’m not trying to tell you to “vote for Gould,” and while I do recognize some bias coming out of the B’ham paper, but I don’t care how anyone reported this story——–no matter how bad anyone makes it sound, it doesn’t even come close to sounding like anything.

        Like, what, Alabama gets 5-star recruits by….giving jobs to their girlfriends?

        “I’m going to LSU.”
        “But we’ll give your girlfriend a job.”
        “K, I’m gonna go to Alabama then.”

        Gould’s article is the only one I read that quotes the mother saying the girlfriend was just an outsider looking in.

        The last thing I want to say is I don’t live in Alabama anymore——–I’m surrounded by Gamecocks and Clemson fans. But they ALL know Landon Collins’ name now. I think it’s great. I can not wait to watch this kid shine. He took his official visit to LSU…while wearing Alabama gear. And allegedly he’s been trying to get other guys from LA to consider Alabama. We know this stuff—–it’s just not the stuff that sells papers.

        1. There’s nothing going on anywhere for recruiting news the week of signing day. Even this site, and I’m not trying to tell you what to do with your site, not at all, all I’m saying is there’s NOTHING else to read about signing day or anything related to any Alabama recruits or virtually anything else in the SEC recruiting trail this week except this story. That’s all we get. Not just Alabama fans, but SEC football fans. Sucks.

          I was genuinely kinda excited for signing day this year and the news leading up to it. There just hasn’t been any. The idea of people looking up Landon Collins highlights as a result of all this talk and no talk of anything else is kinda cool if you ask me. The kid has the heart of a champion, and like A.J., the first time I heard Landon speak I said “WOW, this kid is smart and hungry.”

          1. Ha, I understand your plight. However, Nick Saban unfortunately has made recruiting pretty boring.

            Alabama will just quietly shelve another #1 signing class tomorrow with very little drama. That’s how spoiled we are.

            But stay tuned; check the site later this afternoon and evening. Information is coming, and confirmations of signings will take place all day tomorrow.

  9. I don’t have a “inside scoop” on any of this stuff. I do have an opinion though of Izzy (what the heck is that kinda’ name?) Gould. And Scarbinsky. They maybe just doing their job but they SUCK!!!RTR

  10. This is another perfect example of why I started the boycott of the Bham News. I challenged every Bama fan who had a subscription to cancel it in 2010, and it sure worked. The Bham News had so many cancelations they had to hire a firm from St. Louis to call and plead with people to come back and give them a second chance. When I received a call from the same firm, I was told the main reason given for cancelations was subscribers felt the Bham News was all about Auburn especially since the publisher Pam Siddall was a huge Auburn fan. If you are still a subscriber to the Bham News, I challenge you to cancel it asap.
    As for Izzy’s article, I hope Alabama tells the Bham News to sit outside the doors while other reporters are allowed in the locker room. You don’t dump on Alabama and Coach Saban without consequences!

  11. ITK….I don’t read the Bham paper…I don’t live in their market. I’m a 55 yr old grandmother who attended UA during the middle 70’s. I’ve followed BAMA football since Joe Willie was the qb and probably know more about BAMA’s fb history than most of you men on here. I’m new to all this stuff on the Internet (blogs, etc) and have been following Izzy and his BAMA NATION since last summer. Your blog is new to me and I’ll have to say I’m schocked at you trying to call a fellow journalists out. I’ve been following you since the first of the year and for the life of me I don’t understand why you chose to write this. IMO the piece is a real none story……slow new day?
    I truly mean no disrespect and do enjoy reading your blog. I love Izzy’s work too and never have I thought Izzy’s work was negative toward BAMA in anyway!!
    Oh yeah…I didn’t proof read and I don’t have on my reading glasses. Asking you in advance to overlook any errors.

  12. ITK, you have the patience of Job.

    what some folks need to understand here:

    Gould ain’t f’ing Bernstein.

    and this ain’t f’ing Watergate.

    this is NOT what beat reporters do, something Gould is about to find out. others have been banned from the campus for a hell of a lot less.

    he interviewed this trailer trash knowing the athletic dept. could not respond.

    and because you’re bored, doesn’t mean this is what’s best for your program.

    if you’re that bored, check your script on your reading glasses.

    1. Well put finebammer. In my opinion, Gould stepped outside of what he’s there to do, and if it were my call, he’d be shown the door. It’s about time some of these folks are made an example of.

  13. i have no problem with the mom story it’s a story and it helps bama …..i do have a problem with a lack of negative stories on au….weak class , all the flips …all the rejection…all the cheating

    1. with all due respect, hammah,

      “with the mom story it’s a story and it helps bama”

      (1.)it’ll be interesting to see how you felt it helped if collin’s doesn’t sign.

      (2.) it’s about intent.

      in politics, this is called an october surprise. democrats perfected this stunt. sit on a story until it’s the perfect time then release it for maximum effect.

      (yeah, yeah, republicans do it too but their just playing the game democrats wrote the book on. i’d just about bet the house izzy gould’s a card-carrying democrat)

      how could this story have been more effective released a day before?

      (might fizzle on the vine before signing day)

      a day after??

      (might not have time to grow legs)

      gould released the hit piece at the perfect time for the maximum effect.



      something you dolts need to learn:

      there’s a difference between investigative journalism and beat writing. a BIG difference. most news outlets have gotten away from investigative work because it cost too much…… lawsuits.

      gould and the news isn’t going to get sued. but they are going to get cut off.

      information is a commodity.

      something the birmingham news sports dept.’s about to find out the hard way.

  14. The way you gumps talk about his mother here, I sure hope someone shows this to Landon before he signs, because I believe your comments will possibly do much more damage to the bama program (by possibly causing him not to sign with bama) than the article ya’ll are whining and bitching about. Despite your immature bashing and comments about his mother, Landon has a very close loving relationship with his mother and other siblings, one of which will also play division 1 football somewhere.

    But all this is typical of bammers who think they are perfect and never do anything wrong. Do you really think it is beyond Saban to push the limits of any NCAA regulations to get a recruit? Hell isn’t one NCAA rule already known as the “Saban Rule”.

    And whining about the article coming out just two days before signing day? I personally think it would have been better if it had come out two or three weeks before signing date to give more people and coaches a chance to see it and use it against bama, because you know everything is fair game in recruiting wars, true or not. Just ask Saban.

    It sounds as if most of you making comments about Landon’s mother have never read the following article.

    For selfish reasons I hope Landon sees and uses these and other comments made about his mother by bama fans as a reason to flip to LSU, but even if he doesn’t choose LSU I hope he goes somewhere besides bama because he is too good of a kid (not just an athlete) who was raised most of his life by his “birth mother”, to become a gump.

    1. is this the “real” flash or one of the, apparently, many “fake” flashes???

      just askin……

  15. No finebammer, that above is the real Flash. The only thing I have to say about Landon’s mom is that she did not give him a hug.But stuck her finger in the air with a LSU # 1. And how did that work out? However she is not a bad looking gal.RTR 2 u Flash.

  16. DES you are correct that was posted by me the real Flash.

    And to answer your question, we don’t know how that worked out. Yes you got Landon’s signature on a letter of committment, but next year when his little brother signs with LSU, and Landon’s girlfriend that Saban used to get Landon to Alabama has broken up with him, Landon will realize he has missed out on his dream to play with his brother in front of his whole family, and he’s had a year away from his family and the good Louisiana food he has grown up on, and he realizes how much Saban lied to him about playing time in his first year, I sure he will have some regrets about his decision. Especially after LSU beats bama in Baton Rouge next year. So Geaux Tigers 2 u DES!

    And congratulataions on another No. 1 ranked class. What’s that 4 out of the last 6 years? But hey just remember Saban and Alabama is only 3-3 against Miles and LSU with all that superior talent and you have to come to Baton Rouge next year with the revenge factor on our side this time!

    1. Flash- Predictions already? Well mine are that it not be 21-0.Or 9-6. Or 42-14. What we really need is your old friend from Borrass, to give us some numbers. RTR

    1. RC a typical uneducated bama fan, when you’ve got no relevant or intelligent argument to refute what someone else says, just call them a name as if that really hurts someone. LMAO

      RC are you still in your teens?

  17. Flash,

    you racist pig. I’ll break it down for you dummy style. Landon Collins didn’t commit to his hometown State school because they are a bunch of drunk losers who blew their wadd on the field in NOLA, and then let their own brothers get sodomized by opposing fans at the local burger shop. 21-0:)

  18. These 2 things I wont be doing in 2012
    Reading anything written ABOUT Landon’s momma.
    Reading anything written BY flash.
    ROLL TIDE ROLL BABY WE’RE #1…..get used to it haters. HAHA
    I’M LOVIN IT!!!!!

  19. I just now had a chance to read the previous comments made yesterday and today. You guys are brutal to each other. You sound sooo immature!! All schools have their own gumps, corndogs, barners, and so forth. Grow up fellas.
    I know it must be a hard pill to sallow having to listen about how great BAMA is all the time. UA is a great school and make BAMA your 2nd favorite team. Jump on our bandwagon. It sure is a fun ride. I have 55 years being a BAMA fan (went to school there during the mid 70″s). The BEAR was our coach. Now those were the good ole days!!
    Bama Grandmommy
    Don’t have my reading glasses on. Hope there’s no typo’s.

    1. You go Grammy. Let ‘um have both barrels! Is that spelled right. LOL Locate those specs. I got my bifocals on and still can’t make much of this stuff out.RTR

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