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The Player At The Center Of The Alabama Scandal Grew Up Homeless, Allegedly Spent 'Dirty' Money On A Bed

dj fluker alabama
dj fluker alabama

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Five prominent SEC football players were allegedly paid money under the table through an intermediary for six NFL agents and financial advisors while in college, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

The report contains documents that allegedly show that Luther Davis was paid $45,000 from the agents and advisors, and subsequently gave players money for plane tickets, hotel rooms, bedrooms sets, and other expenses.

The article provides some good insight into how the agent-selection process works for budding NFL stars, and you should read the entire thing.

But as Yahoo!'s Dan Wetzel points out in his column accompanying the scandal, it's important to note that the players aren't the villains here. The real point of the scandal is that the NCAA's quest to preserve the fallacy of amateurism has created an unregulated black market.

Take Alabama offensive tackle DJ Fluker, who is alleged to have taken thousands of dollars in payments from Davis while he was still in college.

Fluker grew up with an abusive father, he told the San Diego Union-Tribune. When Hurricane Katrina destroyed his family's Ninth Ward house, he lived in a car for weeks with his mother and three siblings.

He didn't sleep in a bed by himself until he was 15 years old.

In 2011, his apartment got destroyed by a tornado. Despite all this, he graduated from Alabama in three and a half years.

According to the Yahoo! allegations, Fluker used the "dirty" money for everyday purposes. Davis allegedly bought him a bedroom set, for example. His girlfriend allegedly got a free ticket to the 2013 National Championship game — Fluker's final game — because she couldn't afford it herself. His mother allegedly borrowed money from another Alabama parent to pay rent, and Davis paid the money back when she couldn't afford to.

Fluker grew up in the most dire of circumstances, had a valuable skill that NCAA rules prevented him from capitalizing on, and allegedly accepted a relatively small amount of money to improve his situation.

It's a completely rational decision.

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