After the arrest for dealing cocaine, after the revelation of his violation of NCAA eligibility requirements by incorporating his football persona into the marketing of his pit bull operation, the hidden track to the increasingly sordid Jimmy Johns affair could possibly be the status of his relationship to Lee Thomas, the Tuscaloosa resident who described himself to reporters as John’s “caretaker” and who reportedly posted his $120,000 bail.
The running theory on several message boards is that Lee Thomas is Dr. Lee Thomas, a Tuscaloosa surgeon and 1984 gradate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. (Technically at UAB, but still).
At first, the image painted by Gentry Estes…
“He knows he messed up,” said family friend Lee Thomas, slowly smoking a cigarette after exiting the jail. “He’s not sad at all. He wasn’t crying or anything like that. … He just got mixed up with the wrong crowd.”
… didn’t jive with my image of a surgeon (right, the cigarette, but why also would a college-educated “friend of the family” indicate to a reporter that Johns has no remorse for what “he messed up.”)
But the ability to drop $120,000 on bail money does jive with that image (and it’s Tuscaloosa we’re talking about).
Estes also quoted Thomas as saying:
“They got the phone call from me,” Thomas said. “When you’re in bed sleeping after being up all night and you’ve got your own family and somebody’s beating on your door at 7 o’clock in the morning and telling you you’ve got to go check on Jimmy, how would you feel? I don’t work for Jimmy for money. I work for Jimmy because it’s not often you see a young black player come through here and take people by storm like he done. He just got mixed up with the wrong crowd.”
Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve come back to lead a nice life. He’s a young boy and he’s going to come back. Knowing Jimmy like I know him, he knows he made a mistake.
One description being built from the details slowly coming to light about Johns’ life is that of loner. Estes himself describes him as as a loner and certainly Bama fans would want to imagine him as such — if no one on the team knew what he was doing… in the football complex parking lot… lesser the chance of arrest #11 happening before July.
But one can’t help but wonder: if “caretaker” Lee Thomas did post his Johns’ bail, and if “caretaker” Lee Thomas is indeed Lee Thomas, M.D. — and I have no idea if he is — how is it that a wealthy Tuscaloosa surgeon with ties to the University is $120,000 worth of palsy with a reportedly semi-renowned Tuscaloosa coke dealer / Crimson Tide football player?
Like, how do you know Jimmy?
[Special thanks to “Jap Throat.”]