TUSCALOOSA | Hesiman Trophy winner Mark Ingram got NCAA approval to make a trip to the Washington, D.C., area in May to visit former Florida player Joe Haden and is not under investigation by the NCAA over the matter, a University of Alabama athletics department spokesman said Thursday.
Celebrity news web site TMZ.com is reporting that Ingram attended a May 12 party at District nightclub in Washington, D.C., and that the NCAA wants to talk to Ingram about the trip. The party was for players who had recently been drafted by the National Football League, according to the report.
“This was vetted before it happened,” UA spokesman Doug Walker said.
Ingram approached the UA compliance office before making the trip, and UA got clearance from the NCAA, which said the trip was permissible as long as Ingram provided receipts showing he paid his own way. Ingram presented the receipts to the UA compliance office upon his return.
“Mark provided appropriate documentation,” Walker said. “We're not aware of any issues with this.”
The TMZ report comes on he heels of news that UA, in conjunction with the NCAA, is probing a similar issue with Marcell Dareus, a first-team Preseason All-Southeastern Conference defensive lineman, over his trip to a party held by an agent this summer in Miami.
Ingram set a single-season Alabama rushing record last season, running for 1,542 yards -- with a 6.2-yard average per carry -- and scoring 18 touchdowns to become Alabama's first-ever Heisman Trophy winner in the closest vote in the 75-year history of the award.