Shortly after a Sports Illustrated report on controversial supplement company S.W.A.T.S. said that Alabama players received a pitch from members of the company two nights before the Crimson Tide's 21-0 win against LSU in the 2012 BCS National Championship, Alabama made its first official comments concerning the issue.
Alabama's Assistant to the President and Associate Vice President for University Relations, Deborah Lane, released this statement Tuesday:
“UA has been aware of this situation for some time, and we have monitored this company for several years. They have twice ignored cease and desist letters sent by our compliance office. We have maintained consistent education of our student-athletes regarding the substances in question and will continue to do so.”
The SI report stated that former defensive end Quinton Dial, former linebacker Alex Watkins and junior outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard were reportedly present in a New Orleans Marriott hotel room when Christopher Key, one of the company's founders, discussed the benefits of the company's frequency-reducing hologram chips, "negatively charged" water and deer antler spray/pills.
Deer antler powder contains IGF-1, which is "a natural, anabolic hormone that stimulates muscle growth." It's banned by the NCAA and most professional sports leagues.
While there's no evidence that any of the Alabama players took the company's products, Watkins endorsed the chips and spray in a YouTube video video six months later, and Hubbard reportedly said during Key's pitch that he "already had some" of the deer antler spray.
This isn't the first time a college team has been linked to S.W.A.T.S. In April of 2011, Yahoo! Sports reported that Ross and Key both met with "roughly 60 Auburn players" during Auburn's 2010 national championship season to discuss using the company's chips.