In light of Daisha Simmons' legal counsel filing a Title IX complaint against Alabama, Swish Appeal has obtained an email sent from Simmons to an Alabama staff member.
The letter seemingly refutes the budding rumor that she didn't inform the administration of her family's health issues.
"I've been hearing that (Associate) Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and individuals at UA have been telling reporters and others in private that I did not inform them specifically on my family issues," Simmons said in a statement to Swish Appeal. "This is 100% false and it is unfortunate to be in a predicament where I have to prove that I did in fact tell the committee board at UA what my family issues were during the time I was asking for my release.
"An email was sent to me from committee lady Helen Allen informing me that the UA committee, whom I had to sit in front of and explain to them why I wanted to go home, supported the coaching staff decision to deny my release. They wrote, 'Based on the response received from the committee, we support the decision to not issue an athletic release. This decision was based on the documentation provided by both you and the athletic staff.'"
"I am unaware of the document provided by the athletic staff however, this document is what I provided to the committee and it proves the UA administration was informed of my family issues. Although I am not particularly happy with having to prove I am telling the truth, my family and I will not stand for people telling lies about me. It is unfortunate that this situation has escalated to this point, all I wanted to do was to be able to move on with my life."
The letter, sent via email, dates June 3, 2014 to committee member and associate director of financial aid Helen Allen (click here for the document that Simmons has provided Swish Appeal):
This letter is in regards to why I would like to have my release from my scholarship with the University of Alabama. First and foremost, I would like to say that I am thankful for everything the University has helped me with during my time spent here and, I will always be a proud graduate of the University.
With that being said, I would like to be closer to home this next year, as both my brother and my mom have health issues. My brother suffers from kidney failure and he has dialysis three times a week. My mom suffers from chronic arthritis and has issues coming up and down the stairs.
I would also like to have my release because I would like to pursue other areas academically. I would like to get into a MBA program and focus on where I am after this year.
Duane Rankin of the Montgomery Advertiser first reported on June 27 that Simmons had informed the administration of her family's health issues prior to her appeal meeting, which we now know was heard on June 10, 2014. Based on Rankin's reporting and the documentation Simmons has provided, it would appear that someone at Alabama was aware of Simmons' health issues prior to her sending that letter of appeal.
To corroborate that story, Simmons has provided Swish Appeal with further communication with Allen. Those emails suggest that a) multiple Alabama employees were aware of her family's health issues and b) there was a meeting with the Athletic Appeal Board after that letter was written at which time Simmons could have told whoever was on that appeals committee.
Even if one were to question the authenticity of these documents, it's difficult to imagine that in all of that communication -- in person and electronically -- that Alabama was never made aware of Simmons' family issues.
The Alabama athletic department has not yet responded to our request for comment on this story.
For more background reporting on this story from Rankin and others over the summer, please see our brief archive of past reporting. For more of our current reporting on this story, check out our Daisha Simmons storystream.