Monday, April 29, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 29, 2013

Another week starts with six college football stories from around SEC Country.

Even more proof that the SEC is the best college football conference

The NFL draft was another reminder that the SEC is the best college football conference.

SEC Football by the Numbers: NFL Draft - The choice of pros

NFL teams selected 63 SEC players in the 2013 draft. That's the most SEC players picked in one draft.

Monday Musings: Hill's arrest, SEC's best

Looks like LSU's offseason just got even worse. Star RB Jeremy Hill, already on probation after pleading guilty to sex with a 14-year-old in a locker room as a high school senior, was arrested over the weekend for... wait for it...

AJ McCarron, Johnny Manziel competitors on the field, friends off the field

"Football is our life, so when we get away, we try to get away and not really bring that in."

Sony Michel: UGA 5-star RB from Plantation, Fla.

Prospect: Sony Michel, running back, American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., Class of 2014 Colleges: Committed to UGA over Miami, while also considering Notre Dame, Florida and Florida State.


The idea was to make it similar to the one that puts together the NCAA basketball tournament, made up of athletic directors and conference commissioners. But make no mistake, this will be much tougher to put together, and the commissioners know that.

''This is an issue of considerable complexity and given how much time we have until the playoff begins, we're in no rush,'' BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Thursday, the final of three days of meetings at a resort hotel in the Rose Bowl's backyard.

Everything is apparently still up for debate, from who will be on the committee — current or former athletic administrators? — to how many people will be on it — 16? 18? 20? — to what kind of metrics and rankings it will be given to guide decisions.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 26, 2013

Here we go, tossin’ out six college football stories (like mullets on the beach) from around SEC Country.

SEC has record 12 first-round picks

Alabama had a profound impact on another NFL draft when cornerback Dee Milliner, guard Chance Warmack and tackle D.J. Fluker were the ninth, 10th and 11th selections in Thursday night's first round.

.Eddie Lacy, Jesse Williams among top 10 best remaining players heading into day 2 of NFL draft

Names like Eddie Lacy, Mant'i Teo and Geno Smith were considered potential first-day picks, but still remain.

SEC stars rule Day 1 of draft

SEC stars were hot commodities at the draft, and the bigger, the better.'s five burning questions answered

Auburn's quarterback competition will continue through the summer, but a few more spots -- and position groups -- appear have found their footing following their first spring under coach Gus Malzahn.

New e-mails show NCAA concern over use of athlete video-game images

Ed O'Bannon plaintiffs say Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing Company misled the public and college athletes about the length EA went to model video game avatars after real players.


Bear Bryant produced 13 first-round picks in his 25 seasons at Alabama. After tonight's latest NFL Draft dominance, Nick Saban has 14 first-rounders in six seasons.

Alabama's production of NFL first-round picks continued to reach historical milestones. Tonight, the Crimson Tide became the first team to produce three straight picks in the first round.

Over the past five years, Alabama has 14 first-round picks. In college football history, only the vaunted Miami teams of a decade ago produced more first-round picks over a five-year period than Alabama's current run.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 25, 2013

Happy Draft Day! May your favorite SEC player go high in tonight’s proceedings. Meanwhile… Six college football stories from around SEC Country.

NFL Draft: Milliner vows to be ready for training camp

When Dee Milliner was at the NFL Combine in February, some draft analysts had questions about his speed. Those detractors asked him what he thought his 40-yard dash time would be. Milliner simply smiled and said…

Florida football returns to relevance in NFL Draft

Given the Gators' rich draft history, last year's dismal showing was equal parts stunning and revealing. This year should be different.

Sites Picked, Selection Committee Next for Playoff

Now that the guys putting together the College Football Playoff have determined where the games will be played, there's only one major item left on the agenda — and it just might be the most important piece.

Coaches evaluate depth chart

Gus Malzahn had three goals for his first spring practice season as Auburn coach - to 'get our edge back' by building mental and physical toughness, for players to understand the base offense and defense and to have a two-deep depth chart.

Bielema embracing underdog role

Bret Bielema says he still has not unpacked a single box in his new house.


It’s become a regular occurrence. Every April former Alabama players are following Nick Saban’s path to the NFL.

The plan is simple: Come to Alabama, play 3 or 4 years…your choice. Follow the process, win hardware the right way, then go make big money in the NFL and change your life.

As Alabama head coach Nick Saban prepares for his seventh season leading the Crimson Tide this fall, he can look recruits in the eye and tell them he knows how to get them to the NFL. With consistency.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 24, 2013

From this point forward, the Morning Six Pack will focus on SEC football, with the occasional story of interest from a national perspective. So, without further ado… Six college football stories from around the best league in the country.

Nick Saban tops The Sporting News' rankings of 125 FBS coaches

Alabama's Nick Saban sits at No. 1 of this year's rankings, while first-year Auburn coach Gus Malzahn ranks No. 55 and 12th out of 14 SEC coaches.

Gators in the NFL Draft: Sharrif Floyd

Former UFdefensive tackle Sharrif Floyd is projected be a first-round pick in this week's NFL Draft.

QB race remains wide open

Through 14 practices, including Saturday's A-Day game, Auburn quarterbacks Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace have rotated and split reps with the first and second teams every day.

Alabama, UGA could total 20 NFL draft picks

Last December, Alabama and Georgia produced the greatest drama in the history of the Southeastern Conference football championship game.

Jones names Welton director of player personnel

The University of Tennessee has hired Bob Welton as director of player personnel after he spent the past nine years as a scout with the NFL's Cleveland Browns.


Yes, it’s the real name. College football’s power brokers voted on it Tuesday afternoon at the BCS meetings.

Meanwhile, Augusta National officials announced that the Masters will now be called “Pro Golf Tournament.’’ The World Series will be “Baseball Championship’’ and the Super Bowl: “Football Game.’’

This could be the most boring marketing campaign ever. And that was probably the point, really. The idea was to find something that was ridicule-proof, so bland you can’t make fun of it.

That said, with the money-grab that defines the sport, it won’t take long before this is called College Football Payoff. CFP usually stands for Certified Financial Planner, which is exactly what the sport is doing all week, planning its enormous windfall and finalizing details of the tournament.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 23, 2013

Another Tuesday, another brew of six fresh college football stories from around the country.

D.J. Fluker's account hacked, says agent, after tweet sent says the Alabama star took money in college

As soon as it was up, it was gone. And, apparently, all because of a hacker.

Now healthy, UAB linebacker Daniel White making the most of final chance

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Daniel White's career at UAB was headed for big things early on.

Brandon Allen is Arkansas’ starting QB exiting spring

As Arkansas heads for a bit of a break following the conclusion of spring practice and prior to the start of the summer conditioning program, Bret Bielema has tabbed his starter at quarterback.

Spring answers Oklahoma's questions on 'D'

Post-spring defensive depth chart: Could the Sooners be better in 2013?

Firing a football coach is not that easy for FBS schools

E-mails show the great lengths universities go to to save face, not to mention money.


The site of the first championship game could be announced as early as today. Set for Jan. 11, 2015, it has been considered a lock to be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. But according to several published reports, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa made a strong bid and had gained consideration. Although the championship game is expected to rotate among several cities, only the first site is expected to be announced this week.

The name and logo of the playoff. Don't expect flashy. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said last week the aim was for something classic, not corporate. "We want it to be more like the Masters than NASCAR," he said. Do not expect anything like "BCS." That brand, battered by controversy that ultimately led to the current postseason metamorphosis, will be retired after this season's championship game, which will be played Jan. 6, 2014, at the Rose Bowl.

"It will be simple," BCS executive director Bill Hancock said. "It will not be cutesy. And it will be descriptive. I've seen too many people make mistakes by trying to be cutesy."

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 22, 2013

We’re back with a new workweek and a fresh six pack of college football stories from around the country.

A-Day also a big recruiting day for Crimson Tide's talent scouts

Since head coach Nick Saban's arrival in 2007, Alabama's spring games have drawn huge crowds, and the coaching staff has been able to use that to draw more and more of the nation's elite prospects.

'We fell back into the same mistakes as last year'

Brian Kelly is seeing some of the offensive mistakes he did a year ago.

Joe Paterno apparently has thoughts about this year’s Penn State team from beyond the grave

Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno has been dead for more than a year, but that doesn’t mean he still doesn’t have some thoughts on this year’s Nittany Lions.

Colorado State player, girlfriend charged with assault, domestic violence

A member of the Colorado State football team as well as his girlfriend have both found themselves with some legal issues following an incident late this past week.

Les Miles has some fun with cell phones at post game press conference: Video

LSU Coach Les Miles is twice interrupted by reporters' ringing cell phones and then answers the second one.


The offenses combined for six interceptions and three lost fumbles, mistakes that Saban said weren't characteristic of the spring as a whole. He roamed the field surveying the action in slacks and a sports coat.

"The biggest thing that I was concerned about is how would the team go out there," he said. "What would be their energy, their enthusiasm and their attention to detail -- mental intensity. I don't think that there were enough guys that answered that question in a positive way to my liking. But I'm never satisfied."

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 19, 2013

TGIF and TG for six college football stories from around the country.

Tide practices with 'a lot more intensity' after returning from D.C. trip

Maybe it was the couple of days off. Maybe it was the trip to the White House. Whatever it was, Alabama has looked better in spring practice this week.

NBC and Notre Dame Extend Television Deal

NBC Sports Group announced a 10-year contract extension to televise Notre Dame games, doubling the length of its previous agreement.

Marlin Lane's status leaves Vols thin at RB

Add running back to the growing list of skill-position concerns for Tennessee as it approaches the end of spring practice.

Miles stacks White team with first teamers for LSU spring game: notebook

There is a decided experience advantage on the White team, which is largely first team players.

Injuries putting a crimp in UCLA football's practice style

Sessions have been scaled back to allow for sidelined players. 'It's hard because you've got to get the work in,' Coach Jim Mora says.The numbers game is tilting against UCLA during spring football practice.


Meanwhile, colleges continue the money-grab that is college realignment. I'm glad that these institutions of higher learning have taken all of the sports into account as they make their decisions. As long as people are making money, it shouldn't matter that a school like West Virginia spends its conference season traveling to Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. With the money-maker that is women's soccer, that shouldn't be a prob .... Oh, I forgot, those programs don't exist when it comes to realignment.

As long as the football team's competitive, right? At all costs, even probation? You can look at the allegations towards Auburn's program a few years ago, but if they did break the rules, it worked, right? They got a national championship, and although you can take away banners and crystal balls, you can't take away pictures and memories. Advantage, Auburn.

Don't misinterpret my meaning. I'm not suggesting the Tigers cheated and don't care if they did. Let boosters do what they need to do to build a competitive program. As long as the football team's competitive, who cares how they got there?

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 18, 2013

Looking ahead to an eventful weekend, here are six college football stories from around the country.

Patrick may finally get his chance

He has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. And if Alabama's annual A-Day Game counts as an audition, Tana Patrick will be a focal point for some Crimson Tide fans Saturday.

Mitch Mustain Documentary Trailer

The former Arkansas quarterback is the subject of a documentary that is narrated by Nolan Richardson.

Coastal Alabama recruiting update: Examining Mobile's quarterback crop for the Class of 2014

At least four Mobile area quarterbacks - Vigor's Devin Adams, UMS-Wright's Gunner Roach, Faith Academy's Malik Rosier and Jackson's Matthew Jordan - have attracted the attention of major college scouts.

Whining About Schedules

There's no way a fan can talk about his team's schedule being tough without coming off as a tremendous whiner. I know this, but I'm going to it anyway.

UF progress report: Quarterbacks

A closer look at what we learned about this upcoming group of Gators from spring practice.


“I think we’re, and I’m concurring with you, I think what needs to take place, college athletics — particularly football — have changed dramatically throughout my career.

I think it’s in a bad place right now, and I think it’s in a bad place for a variety of different reasons. We’ve allowed it to become money-driven. We’ve allowed it to become TV-driven. We’ve allowed athletic programs or football programs to mean more to a university than what the university was really supposed to be all about.

The last I heard, these were educational institutions, and that’s what it needs to be about. … It’s not driven by values. … It’s driven by dollars and cents, and that’s unfortunate.”

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 17, 2013

Back with six cool, clear and refreshing college football stories from around the country.

Alabama notebook: Tide's thin roster just got thinner

True freshman tailback Derrick Henry was the latest casualty of the spring, suffering a broken leg in Saturday's scrimmage that will sideline him from the annual A-Day Game.

On College Football: N.C.A.A.’s Case Against Oregon Moves Slowly

The University of Oregon agreed that violations occurred in its football program, but the N.C.A.A.’s unwieldy enforcement process offers little disincentive for any school to cheat.

Where will Shaun Dion Hamilton commit: Alabama, Auburn or Tennessee?

Carver-Montgomery linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton is set to announce his college decision at his school at 11:30 on Wednesday, choosing between his three finalists of Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee.

Nathan Peterman holding own in Tennessee QB work

The spring-practice portion of Tennessee's quarterback competition is nearing its end, and Nathan Peterman is looking to make the most of the final week.

Cincinnati punter transferring to Miami, already tops depth chart

Yes, it’s a punter, but still… In somewhat of a surprising move, Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville confirmed Tuesday that punter Pat O’Donnell has decided to leave the Bearcats for a transfer to Miami.


"I remember the first scrimmage AJ was in, we made him play with the threes," Saban said with a grin. "He was hot behind the collar and fussing out on the field and stormed up to my office when the scrimmage was over and said, 'How come you made me play with the threes? I thought I was going to be with the twos.' I said, 'We're only evaluating your leadership today and you failed.'"

It was a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek story about a quarterback who has since led two Alabama teams to BCS national championships, but Saban said it also shows how far the former St. Paul's star has come in his development as a leader.

"He has come a long way," Saban said of McCarron. "Now he is the best leader on our team, and has been, and is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. We're certainly pleased and proud to have him being our quarterback."

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Surprise: Politicization Of The Boston Bombing

No morning six pack today. It just doesn't seem right or proper, and I'm slammed with day job duties as well (and have been for weeks; it's a good problem to have).

Instead, I'll leave these thoughts from Red State's Dana Loesch on the grotesqueness of the media's response to yesterday's tragedy.
This isn’t journalism. This is speculation. It’s hackneyed. It’s malicious, unprofessional, and dangerous. The lack of professionalism demonstrated by the above should be enough to shame them forever from the profession, but the profession now thrives on tabloid-level “reporting.”

After a tragedy the normal person responds by falling to their knees in prayer. The compassionate person responds with concern for the affected. The professional reports the facts and differentiates between speculation and confirmation.

It is the desperate and professionally and spiritually anemic who heartlessly view tragedy as a chance to settle some imaginary score. These individuals are baselessly impugning innocent groups and in doing so, inadvertently impugn themselves and their profession.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 15, 2013

Death, taxes and these six college football stories from around the country.

Johnny Manziel looked in mid-season form during spring game

Johnny Manziel’s sophomore slump is not well underway. Manziel lit up his own defense, completing 24 of 29 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns and was benched shortly after the start of the second half.

NCAA enforcement director takes Auburn job

Director of enforcement David Didion is leaving the NCAA to take a job at Auburn.

NCAA blasts Miami, citing personal attacks

The interim leader of the NCAA office that conducted the investigation of Miami's athletic department believes the Hurricanes are "grasping at straws" in their efforts to get the case against them dismissed.

Miami allows injured WR to score touchdown during spring game

A gruesome ankle injury suffered against Georgia Tech ended the 2012 season for Miami wide receiver Malcolm Lewis last September. Since then, Lewis has been working hard to recover in time for the 2013 season opener…

Auburn's Jake Holland relying on experience to learn defense, deal with missed practice time

Holland, who is learning both linebacker positions in Ellis Johnson's scheme, has missed a few practices and some morning meetings due to a mandatory class as he prepares to graduate with a degree…


"This is going to be a fun team to coach. They want to win, they're about the right things, and I'll be excited to get back to work with them."

There were about 90 plays between the teams in the first half. Just how fast can Clemson's offense go?

"Who knows?" Swinney said. "We just want to be good, efficient, score a bunch of points and don't let the other team score nearly as many. If we can do that, we're going to be alright."

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 14, 2013

Sippin’ on Sunday Brunch (with the spell checker turned on) and checkin’ out six college football stories from around the country.

Alabama spring football: Tide offense breaks out in scrimmage

The Alabama offense picked up where it left off in last week's scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium, piling up more than 500 passing yards along with a 100-yard rusher in Saturday's scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Kessler sharpest quarterback in USC spring game

Cody Kessler passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns, and Max Wittek added two more scoring throws in Southern California's spring game Saturday.

Ole Miss unveils white, blue pants

Ole Miss unveiled new uniforms for the 2013 season today, including blue and white pants as well as lengthened stripes on the shoulder sleeves.

Green-Beckham rises to challenge in MU scrimmage

Before Missouri’s second football scrimmage of the spring on Saturday, new receivers coach Pat Washington issued a challenge to sophomore Dorial Green-Beckham.

Take note of five Tigers turning heads with one week left in spring

The winds of change have blown across the Plains since the day of head coach Gus Malzahn’s hiring. With a new day comes new faces…


As time has passed since the Tigers won the national title, on-field memories have been replaced by the off-field troubles and accusations.

I don’t know which is higher: The touchdowns Cam Newton accounted for or the number of issues surrounding that team.

It has reached a point where folks will begin saying Auburn lacked “institutional control” during that time. You don’t have to look any further than Penn State to see how powerful that NCAA rule is.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 13, 2013

One day before taxes are due… Hmmm. Screw it. Check out these six college football stories from around the country.

Alabama players want to 'start fast, finish strong' at 2nd spring scrimmage

Today's scrimmage will be more like a game compared to last week's, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said.

Report: NCAA to drop QB's Miami testimony

A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the NCAA has agreed to drop at least part of former Miami quarterback Kyle Wright's testimony from its case against the Hurricanes.

Ex-Oklahoma QB Allen will transfer to Cuse

Former Oklahoma quarterback Drew Allen will transfer to Syracuse and is eligible to compete for the starting position this season, Allen said Friday.

Director of enforcement leaves NCAA, returns to Auburn compliance department

David Didion spent the last 14 years as the NCAA's chief of enforcement. He was a key figure in Auburn's compliance department from 1995-99.

USC quarterbacks ready to put best foot forward Saturday

The last spring scrimmage at the Coliseum gives each of them — Max Wittek, Cody Kessler and Max Browne — a chance to make the case to be selected as starter next season.


Auburn won't be spending that kind of curfew-enforcing money under new coach Gus Malzahn. The Tigers are no longer using the security firm, according to a school spokesman.

Still, Auburn has no regrets:

"While this is old news, the Auburn Athletics Department believes it was a wise expenditure at the time," Auburn said in a statement. "We'd rather have not had to spend the money, but the well-being of our student-athletes was and continues to be more important."

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 12, 2013

Happy Masterful Friday! Start the weekend off right with these six, cool and crisp college football stories from around the country.

Alabama football - Tide's Bell slowly returning to form

Kenny Bell's spring has been going much like his football career at Alabama.

Sawyer picks TCU over Alabama and Oklahoma State - TCU

When national power Alabama came knocking, Fort Worth All Saints quarterback Foster Sawyer made the call to stay closer to home, committing to TCU on Thursday.

Wisconsin Badgers take break from spring football for dance off, which includes DL's split

Warren Herring attempts and executes a split. At 286 pounds, the defensive lineman's moves were by far the most impressive of the video, which you can see below.

Better for them to receive, but ...

USC's top wideouts Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor also might be the Trojans' best cornerbacks, but Coach Lane Kiffin says it's unlikely they'll play defense.

Under Ellis Johnson, Auburn's defensive scheme is built to play as fast as Gus Malzahn's offense

Johnson's scheme is tailored to get players lined up and get the call installed as quick as a no-huddle offense, a scheme that gave Auburn's defense fits last season.


"As a player, you never socialized with Coach Bryant," Battle said. "Usually if you talked to him, you were in trouble. ...

"As a coach, he loved to be around his players that were coaches. Every year, he had a place down on Lake Martin, and he would have a thing for his coaches. We'd come in and we'd play golf and draw X's and O's and have more fun. And then he started having more players that he was having to compete with. ... We were always friendly, but we never could be friends in the Alabama-Tennessee relationship.

"When I worked with him in business, we talked about anything and everything. It was so great. We talked about X's and O's and people. Everything. Anything. So I got to know him at three different levels.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 11, 2013

Hunker down with six college football stories from around the country. Stay safe today, folks.

As a young coach, Bill Battle was ahead of his time

He had a Paul Bryant pedigree and a Bud Wilkinson apprenticeship,

Coastal Alabama recruiting update: DeMarcus Bingham inspired by comparisons to Julio Jones reporters Josh Bean and Ben Thomas discuss three major recruits from the Mobile area - Foley receiver DeMarcus Bingham, St. Paul's lineman Josh Casher and Vigor defensive end Justin Thornton.

Tommy Tuberville on Cincinnati spring practices: 'Like watching paint dry'

Former Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel said on Wednesday that he plans to enroll at Cincinnati.

Houston WR gets a break

University of Houston wide receiver Andrew Rodriguez has been granted a medical hardship waiver for the 2012 season, the school announced Wednesday.

Vols coach Butch Jones using mic to teach

The voice has become a staple of Tennessee's football practices.


As best he can recall, Robinson said that eight NCAA representatives were seated on one side of a conference table with five members of Auburn’s support staff on the opposite side. He was positioned at the head of the table.

“It was a surreal moment,” he said. “I was prepared to play in the SEC as a freshman, to maybe be the face of Auburn University, and in a moment it was like I was being snatched from my ultimate dream.

“I felt like I had been crucified. The meeting with Chizik was like the final stone being thrown.”

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 10, 2013

Halfway to the weekend, y’all! To tide us over, here are six college football stories from around the country.

Alabama spring football: Saban demands mental intensity from team

Mental toughness. The Alabama players haven't shown it to Nick Saban's satisfaction in spring practice. '

Clowney sidelined with neck injury

South Carolina All-World star Jadeveon Clowney missed Saturday’s scrimmage with a neck injury. Furthermore, it looks like he’ll miss the rest of spring – this week – with a stiff neck and back.

D.J. Ward has been cleared to play.

D.J. Ward, who went from the top high school prospect in Oklahoma to the sidelines for his senior season, then to the sidelines at OU this spring because of NCAA Clearinghouse issues, can finally play football again. The freshman defensive end practiced with the Sooners Tuesday after being OK'd by the NCAA.

Ranking the SEC football coaches

Considering how important coaches are to teams or even making preseason predictions, Athlon is taking a look at how each conference stacks up with its head coach rankings for 2013.

Maryland finally gets some good news

The Terrapins received word Tuesday afternoon that Brown’s NCAA waiver appeal had been processed and approved.


The issue has driven a wedge through an already divided Division I. Some institutions, including those that don’t compete in football at the highest levels, say they simply don’t have the revenue to offset the added costs. Others worry that making additional payments to players—no matter how small, and for whatever reason—threatens the amateur model.

Such opposition is one reason some of the wealthier programs are pushing for a further subdivision of the NCAA’s top level. If they can’t get their way on issues like this one, some observers say, they’ll just take their ball and go play somewhere else.

The climate has frustrated Mr. McPhee, who believes that even the less-wealthy programs have an obligation to make a priority of players and their unmet financial needs. “If you want to compete [in Division I],” he says, “you’ve got to step up.”

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 9, 2013

Mmmm. Nothing starts the day off better than six cold, clear and fresh college football stories from around the country.

Rich get richer for Tide: White returns to talented wide receiver group

Alabama junior tight end Brian Vogler has seen what everyone else saw Saturday.

Florida coach's creepy recruiting tactic continues

Joker Phillips decided to continue his nightmare-inducing recruiting tactics earlier this morning.

Auburn's running backs still finding their feet in hurry-up, no-huddle offense

Tre Mason has been battling an ankle injury, Corey Grant thinks he can be a burner in the offense and Cameron Artis-Payne has shone as a bigger-bodied back who can make one-cut and go in Auburn's inside runs.

UTC still loaded at defensive end

Nobody saw Josh Beard's remarkable 2009 football season coming.

Penn St. athletics revenue down 7 percent

The Penn State athletic department's latest financial report shows revenue declined by $7.9 million, or nearly 7 percent, last year to more than $108 million.


Reilly Gibbons, who's listed at 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds, insists that his mind is made up. He's the fourth offensive lineman already committed to Miami for the incoming 2014 class, joining three other South Florida products — K.C. McDermott and Nick Linder (both of whom have brothers already on the Hurricanes' offensive line) and Trevor Darling.

"The spring games are coming up and I wanted a lot of other kids to see this and see that Miami is the place to go," Gibbons said. "We have the best offensive line in the country now. I believe that in my heart. And if someone's out there and on the ropes because of the NCAA scandal, I hope seeing me committing and other kids committing brings them over."

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Ran into an old billiards opponent today…

20130408_131223-1I stopped at a convenience store this morning after running some errands. While standing in line at the cash register, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around, and there stood my nemesis in Nine Ball Tournaments, “Oscar.”  Oscar was a mainstay at Mobile’s only place for real pool players to test their skills against the best in the area and the best in the southeast—The Twilight Club. We all practiced our skills at places like the Florida Club in Midtown, the Loop Club in The Loop, or USA Billiards in West Mobile. But when you wanted to play the best opposition—you always went to the Twilight around 10:00 pm.

My hangout was the Florida Club. It was run by an elder gent we all knew as “Percy.” Percy had a amiable personality but a look in the eye that told you he was capable of killing for money (maybe he had; I never asked). I don’t remember where Oscar practiced his trade, but I don’t think it was in my neighborhood.

Playing Oscar in Nine Ball was like playing Bobby Fischer in Chess. He never went on offense unless he had the advantage, and he never let his defense down when he thought you had the advantage. He could spot even a good player two balls and the Eight, and still win seven of nine racks. I could too, and I paid for books and gas money in college hustling cocky college kids at USA Billiards.

Oscar and I always played straight up, and any time we shared a table, we always drew a crowd. In the the local finals of the 1982 World Series of Tavern Pool, Oscar beat me four games to three and advanced to the Regionals in Atlanta. I returned the favor the next year, beating him four games to three and making the trip myself. I made the finals in 1983 and lost to a guy with a penchant for sinking the Nine on the break.

I didn’t play in the 1984 WSOTP and I don’t know if Oscar did, either. But if he did, I’m sure he made a helluva run.

One Pocket was Oscar’s other favorite game. I never played him in One Pocket. Part of that was because frankly, that game is literally Chess on a pool table and Oscar was just better at that than I was. But the other part was because my other favorite game was Snooker, and Oscar didn’t care for the larger table, the smaller balls and the rounded “titties” on the pockets of Snooker tables. Good men know their limitations.

But I don’t think I saw him lose many more One Pocket games than he saw me lose at Snooker.

Oscar, like me, is middle-aged. He’s got a bit of a paunch, a little more grey hair and like me, wears glasses to combat the “over 40 disease” that prevents us both from being the sharpshooters we were 30 years ago. We’re too old and too blind to be really good pool players anymore. Time sucks. He did still have that twinkle of confidence in his eye and any decent pool player will tell you that a game of billiards is won with 50% skill, 40% confidence and 10% luck.

I don’t think Oscar ever relied on luck. It was his confidence and his skill that made him money.

Standing next to Oscar in the convenience store was his daughter, Olivia. Oscar has taught her how to play Nine Ball. I looked at that tall and lovely black woman and saw the same confident, yet defiant twinkle in her eye that so many feared in her father.

I never feared playing Oscar. I’d lag for the break, rack’em up and shoot it out with him anytime.

But I wouldn’t play his daughter if a trip to Las Vegas depended on it.

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Auburn can’t get its stories straight on the “spice” scandal

JailAubieAuburn University reacted swiftly and loudly to a detailed and scathing ESPN Magazine article exposing a drug problem that was sweeping through the Tiger football team during 2010 and 2011. The report—detailing a six month investigation into illicit drug use down on the plains—came on the heels of an equally damning story from a former SI and New York Times reporter. But in the process of trying to set the record straight, it seems that La Familia can’t even get its story straight.

How can you tell when someone is being untruthful? One surefire sign is that the story changes every time it’s told.

Here’s a quote from the ESPN story:

What Harkness had no way of knowing was that while NCAA investigators pored through Auburn emails and phone logs in the Newton case, the highest-ranking members of the athletic department made a specific choice not to talk about Spice. Jacobs, a folksy, confident executive who played offensive tackle for the Tigers in the early '80s, told The Mag in an interview this past February that the decision not to inform athletes' parents about their positive tests was a matter of legal necessity because the drug had not yet been added to the school's banned substances list.

Based on documents obtained by The Mag, Auburn's 2010 drug policy allows for the banning of drugs also on the NCAA's banned substances list, including a category called street drugs. While the NCAA's list defines marijuana as a street drug (no specific mention of synthetic marijuana), a clause in the Auburn policy would've allowed it to expand the definition to include "related compounds." Yet the school's legal staff concluded that Spice was not a related compound of regular marijuana. "In 2010 and early 2011, using synthetic marijuana was not necessarily a transgression of our policy," says C. Randall Clark, the head of the university senate's drug testing committee.

In other words, the school deemed that the athletic department couldn't discipline students caught using Spice in the same manner as those caught using regular marijuana or cocaine. That meant no parental notification, no loss of playing time and no mandatory counseling. "There wasn't anything we could do except educate our athletes," Jacobs says.

Not so fast, says a report from, the Rivals’ site headed up by former Montgomery Advertiser reporter Jay G. Tate. In their attempt to show that Auburn was on top of the problem early on, they tell us that parents were indeed notified during the relevant time frame:

Though players who tested positive during the 2010 season didn't face sanctions since the substance wasn't yet banned, spoke with the parent of a former player who said he was informed by the school of his son's positive test. reported Thursday night that the parents of former players Dakota Mosley and Shaun Kitchens claim they weren't informed of their sons' positive tests.

ESPN The Magazine reported Thursday that "not one parent was notified, and no discipline was meted out in the eight-month gap between the first test in January 2011, and August 2011, when Auburn's drug policy was officially amended to include synthetic marijuana."

One parent of an Auburn player that tested positive for "spice" during that time period disagrees.

"It's just false and inaccurate. As a parent, I was notified, so that bumps the fact that no parents were notified," said one parent that wishes to remain anonymous. "I haven't seen the ESPN story, but if they said the parents weren't notified, that's not true. I was called and I know two other parents that were notified, too.

"I know for sure two, from me seeing them down there. If they notified me and two other parents, if there was anyone else, I'm sure they were told. I don't understand this."

The parent says he was notified of the failed drug test between the end of spring practice and June of 2011. That's within the time period that ESPN claims no parents were notified.

In an open letter posted on Auburn’s official athletics website, AD Jay Jacobs also disputes ESPN’s claim, saying that “phone records show that more than 50 phone calls were made to the parents of two former student-athletes who were interviewed by ESPN.”

Fifty phone calls to the parents of two players means about 25 each per parent. That’s a lot of phone calls to not very many people. They had guys failing drug tests about 25 times? Dakota Mosley said he only failed seven times.

Jacobs’ story jibes perfectly with Tate’s story, but the school’s own documents tell a different story altogether.

Auburn Bureau writer Joel Erickson explains that documents he obtained from the school under an open records request support the ESPN allegation that parents weren’t notified.

Auburn's athletic administration and coaching staff could not have legally informed parents about failed tests for synthetic marijuana before the drug was banned, according to documents obtained by through an open records search.

Auburn informed the student-athletes of each positive test for synthetic marijuana (sometimes called spice), offered counseling to each of the athletes involved and told athletes that the substance would likely be on the school's banned list in the future, said Cassie Arner, Auburn's assistant director for public relations.

Isn’t that what ESPN said? Why yes, I believe it is.

The headline for the story linked and quoted above suggests that the documents support Jacobs’ and the versions. But the story itself supports the ESPN report—which said that the legal department’s ruling prevented disclosure of positive test results because the substance was legal and not banned by the NCAA.

Either Jacobs doesn’t know the facts as shown by the school’s records, or he’s not being truthful. Or, the parents interviewed by Tate et all at were being untruthful. OR, is being untruthful.

Is your head spinning fast enough yet?

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Morning Six Pack: April 8, 2013

After a short weekend break, we’re back, serving up six choice college football stories from around the country.

So did Don Draper go to see the Crimson Tide play? 'Mad Men' references Alabama football

During tonight's season premiere of "Mad Men," viewers got a reminder of a pivotal Alabama football game while learning the year in which this season takes place.

O-line uncertainty challenges Georgia

One of the biggest reasons for Georgia's offensive success last football season was the solid foundation provided by its line.

Jackson: Auburn allegations not worth the time of day

Former Auburn football star Bo Jackson isn't worried about the negative reports concerning his alma mater.

Jones expects more from Tennessee's tailbacks

Tailback Rajion Neal sprinted around the left end for a first down on the first play of 11-on-11 work in Tennessee's second spring scrimmage on Saturday.

Texas receiver Sanders arrested on DWI charge

University of Texas receiver Kendall Sanders has been arrested on a drunken-driving charge.


Jackson said athletic director Jay Jacobs ''came out and said what he needed to say'' in statements disputing the reports.

''I don't even know the kids. I've probably met them. But it seems like to me somebody's fishing, somebody wants some attention, and they aren't getting it,'' said Jackson, who won the 1985 Heisman Trophy. ''I actually wouldn't give those accusations the time of day, to be honest with you.''

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 5, 2013

Another fine Friday, another six college football stories from around the country.

Report: Auburn kept failed tests for synthetic drug secret

At least a dozen Auburn players failed tests for synthetic marijuana, according to ESPN.

Five SEC players capable of filling significant voids

With just a couple of weeks remaining in spring practice for most teams, some notable holes are obvious. Let’s take a look at five significant holes on a few rosters and project capable replacements.

What they're saying about the Auburn reports

A number of media outlets have their views on the recent reports about the Auburn football team. Here is what they're saying.

'Big Dan' big project for Vols

Shortly after becoming Tennessee's defensive line coach, Steve Stripling began hearing plenty about this mountain of a tackle called "Big Dan."

Another knee injury for USC: Su'a Cravens has torn meniscus

Freshman safety will have surgery Friday but is expected to return for summer workouts. Silas Redd had similar surgery and George Farmer will sit out the season because of torn ligaments.


"Despite the tenuous evidence to support that charge [it is debatable, at best, that the advancement officers were ever aware of Shapiro's connection to Axcess Sports], the allegation is particularly troubling because the involved advancement officers were not employees of the athletics department," the filing states.

"Rather, they were employees of the University's central advancement office and had no athletics related responsibilities ...

"Charging the University with a lack of institutional control because two administrators who had no day-to-day athletics responsibilities or expertise in the area allegedly had knowledge of Shapiro's involvement in a sports company is unreasonable, illogical and a bit ironic ...

"Under the same logic, the University's advancement officers named in the Notice [of allegations] had responsibilities limited to fundraising and thus cannot be held responsible for athletics 'concerns.' "

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

It’s not the money, or the bagman. It’s the academics, stupid!

JailAubieOnce again, from the bottom of my Crimson Bleeding Heart, I would like thank the University of Auburn for some badly needed offseason free blogging. I haven’t had the opportunity to use the jailed Aubie photoshop in over two years. With that out of the way…

Don’t sweat the allegations of inflated entertainment budgets in Selena Roberts’ story. The allegations of Muschamps’ money drawer are peanuts. As is Darvin Adams’ allegations of being offered financial incentives to forego the NFL draft and return for his senior season.

If there’s any red meat in Roberts’ piece, it’s right here:

Academic fraud: Three players say that before the BCS Championship game the team was told that as many as nine of their teammates would not be able to play in the title game because they were academically ineligible. “We thought we would be without Mike Dyer because he said he was one of them, but Auburn found a way to make those dudes eligible,” says Mike Blanc, a teammate and roommate of Mike McNeil’s. Dyer’s name was cited by McNeil, too. Dyer did not respond to calls to his cell phone. Before the season, McNeil says he was given an F for attendance in a computer science class. “I had B work but I missed too many classes; and I went to the instructor and said, ‘I really need this grade,’” says McNeil. “He said that he was sorry but he wouldn’t change it. I went to the person over him. She was in a position of power and backed up the instructor. I then told my counselor with the athletic department.” Within days, McNeil says, the grade was changed from an F to a C and he did not miss a game.

I touched on this two years ago.

The alleged academic improprieties are of particular interest to the NCAA because such issues go straight to the heart of the principles of the organization. Nothing would enrage the Committee on Infractions more than a documented case of fraudulently manipulating student-athlete grades, forcing changes in majors, pressuring educators to maintain eligibility and failing to maintain academics as a primary focus of amateur athletics.

Those are also much easier to prove. They are violations that break some of the NCAA’s most fundamental principles, and they are alleged to have occurred during a timeframe when the school was expected to be honest and forthcoming with information. The time frames involved surround two separate incidents of NCAA scrutiny—the 2006 sociology department scandal and the 2010-11 investigations surrounding Cam Newton’s recruitment.

That's a violation of the same "lying to or misleading investigators" bylaw that got the scalps of Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl canned and Ohio State’s Jim Tressel.

Of the 81 cases before the NCAA regarding violation of bylaw 10.1 since 1989, 78 of the coaches or administrators involved lost their jobs. In all 81 cases, the Committee on Infractions handed down harsh penalties and wrote absolutely scathing final reports. While the coaching staffs during the time frames mentioned by Roberts are no longer in place, the administrative big guns are.

It should be noted that this is the third time in seven years that Auburn has had to deal with allegations of academic wrongdoing and skated both times. Auburn is getting really good at this because apparently, they’ve been doing it a long time and practice makes perfect.

The NCAA is reeling right now in the wake of their own scandal in Miami. So it’s anybody’s guess as to when happens next. But don’t be surprised if the NCAA uses a fresh new case to make a bold new statement.

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Morning Six Pack: April 4, 2013

JailAubieThis is the Schadenfreude installment of the Morning Six Pack. LOL, Auburn.

Auburn’s Tainted Title

Victims, Violations and Vendettas for Glory.

Q&A: Reporter Selena Roberts defends, stands by report Auburn committed NCAA violations

Selena Roberts, a 1988 Auburn graduate, once served as the sports editor for the school newspaper, the Auburn Plainsman. On Wednesday, she published a report that links the Auburn football program to multiple NCAA violations during its run to a national title in 2010. Some players she quotes in the report have since denied the allegations to

Report: Ex-Auburn player alleges major violations

Ex-Tigers player Mike McNeil is reportedly alleging that major violations occurred while at Auburn under then-coaches Gene Chizik and Will Muschamp.

Auburn paid players, changed grades during championship season

Cam Newton now linked to another scandal.

New Auburn Report Raises Many Questions, Answers Few

The big exposé yesterday about Mike McNeil and the Auburn football program raises lots of questions. Where did this come from? One of the first things you probably thought when you first clicked the story link is: huh?


"I accept responsibility for what happened on my watch and remain a believer in a strong enforcement program," Lach wrote in her statement. "Following the August 2011 presidential retreat, the enforcement staff had a clear charge to be innovative and deliver significant cases, which we did. Lost in the important discussion of the Miami case is the reality that enforcement was overhauled inside (the investigative arm) and out (the penalties) from 2010-2012.

"One misstep should not unravel the good work that's already been done, and more importantly, remains to be done by a committed and ethical enforcement staff. Enforcement staff members have a tough but critical job and show up to work every day motivated to do the right thing. I'm proud to have been their colleague."

Less impressed with the NCAA's enforcement arm is the University of Miami, underscored by documents acquired Wednesday by "Outside the Lines." On March 29, the school sent to a member of the NCAA Division I committee on infractions a letter outlining Miami's rationale for its unprecedented request to dismiss the case before its scheduled hearing in June.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 3, 2013

Hump your way through a wet Wednesday, starting with these six college football stories from around the country.

Alabama's young tight ends seeking consistency in competition to replace departed veterans

With Michael Williams and Kelly Johnson gone, Alabama is looking to fill openings at the Y and H.

McDermott commits to Miami (FL) over Notre Dame

The Hurricanes land the five-star offensive lineman.

George Farmer carted from USC’s practice with leg injury

While there is no official diagnosis, the outlook for USC wide receiver George Farmer doesn’t look particularly promising. The junior-to-be was carted off the field from practice on Tuesday because of what was initially described by the Trojans as an apparent leg injury.

UCLA gets a head start with Brett Hundley set at quarterback

Having the sophomore already in place as the starter puts the Bruins ahead of last year, when he wasn't named to the position until summer training camp.

Tennessee Vols' Brian Randolph 'getting there' in recovery

There was no cruise, no beach and no warm weather last week for Brian Randolph.


When I found out he was going to Duke, that was kind of a shock and in my mind, I'm a researcher. I knew that it was not good when I found out that they had transported him to Duke. He had great support and all the people that came and went. I was very pleased that things stayed so private for quite a while, for his family and everything.

I have to tell you, this man was my boss, he was my friend, he helped me personally. The hardest thing is that it was so quick. My hope had been that, 'OK, we can fix this.' Sometimes things aren't fixable.

The biggest thing now is probably without a doubt through my entire career he's the best fundraiser. When he walks into a room, everyone knows he's there. He's a difference-maker. His hiring of coach Saban. That's first and foremost in my mind in what was a department-changer. We ride on the private plane going to a speaking engagements and you will hear him tell the stories. He was a great storyteller, the things he would say. That was a game-changer when he got coach Saban.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Morning Six Pack: April 2, 2013

Here’s your fix for Tuesday—six college football stories from around the country.

Alabama's veteran right guard now known as 'Steen Roller,' and call him a leader, too

"I’ve always been a guy that’s been around, just do my job and that’s it,” Anthony Steen says.

Reports: Rushel Shell transferring from Pitt

On a sabbatical from the Pittsburgh football team as he’s “working through some challenges right now,” Rushel Shell has apparently completed said work — much to the detriment of the Panthers’ running game.

As Mark Helfrich era begins, Oregon Ducks expect smooth transition

Early Tuesday morning, Mark Helfrich will take the field for the first time as head coach when the Oregon Ducks begin spring drills.

Four Downs: Allen Holds Early Edge In QB Competition; Minor Moves To RB

The battle for the Arkansas starting quarterback job is expected to continue throughout the spring. But the Razorbacks’ first scrimmage showed sophomore Brandon Allen has an early lead on senior Brandon Mitchell.

Did Maryland’s Randy Edsall lie about being chased out of South Florida?

At the request of the Post, the sheriff’s offices of Palm Beach County and neighboring Hendry County searched 911 calls for that date. Neither found a record of the call.

John Minor, a communications expert who specializes in cellphone tracking, said it is conceivable that a 911 call in a remote area could be difficult to trace, but if authorities don’t have any record, he said, “That is an indication some untruth may be going on.”


Moore's health problems had forced him to step down on March 20, and he passed away at Duke University Medical Center at age 73. The former Tide quarterback had been athletic director since 1999 after playing on Bear Bryant's first national championship team in 1961. Moore also coached under Bryant and Gene Stallings.

Saban, who Moore hired as football coach in January 2007, said the death hit him hard.

''It was really tough for me on Saturday when we got the news,'' Saban said. ''Mal was such a close friend, someone that I respected personally as well as professionally, in terms of the way he treated and thought about other people. Probably the most caring person about always putting other people first that I've ever been around, especially in the position of leadership that he had.

''Very, very compassionate. I never even saw him ever in the years that I've known him treat anybody with disrespect. I think we can all learn a lot - and I certainly have become a better person being around Mal Moore, with the class and character and obviously the integrity he had as a person and a coach and as an athletic director. It's just tough losing a good friend. I think his legacy at this institution is going to last for a long, long time.''

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Monday, April 1, 2013

From a Bloody Battle in Afghanistan to the Pitchers Mound at Nationals Park

From a Bloody Battle in Afghanistan to the Pitchers Mound at Nationals Park
Most people who recover from this injury never get to take the mound on Opening Day of a professional baseball game. Back in 2009, with Taliban insurgents attacking his unit, the soldier looked down at his bloodied arm. A rocket-propelled grenade had exploded nearby, and the shrapnel had torn up his right side.  

"Just throw a bandage on it real quick," he told his fellow soldier before jumping back into the scrum.
Wait, you thought this was going to be about Stephen Strasburg opening the season less than two years after Tommy John surgery? No, this is the story of Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, who won the Medal of Honor earlier this year and is throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park on Monday. 

Romesha arrived at Combat Outpost Keating in May of 2009. Situated on low ground and surrounded by 10,000 foot mountains, it was a difficult place to defend (one soldier described the post as "being in a fishbowl or fighting from the bottom of a paper cup.") 

For opening day of MLB, and for all the men and women who courageously serve in our Nation's Armed Forces, this is a poignant and important story.  We really can't do enough to honor these brave souls. Not only can we not do enough for those who return home with painful scars and debilitating injuries, but those who gave it all.

Reader shares fond memories of Mal Moore


I just needed to, by “HT.”

I’m no blogger…… My writing consists mainly of to-do lists these days. But there are moments in your life when you’re so overcome with emotion that you just need to write. Helen Keller once said, "Character cannot be developed in ease & quiet. Only thru experience of trial & suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved"…. Nobody knows this better than Coach Mal Moore.

Saturday, we lost one of the last links to the days our grandpas always told us about. This generation has learned to equate the phrase, ‘The Good Ole Boys’, with smoky back room corruption and hundred dollar handshakes. And that’s not entirely a myth…

But Mal Moore represents the best of us. He loved this university like no one else. He served this university like no one else. I could go on and on about his 10 national championship rings, his overwhelming devotion to his beloved wife, Charlotte, his forward thinking that has made our athletic program a dynasty. I could…. But I’m gonna leave that to the real writers.

Instead, I want to enlighten you with ‘The HT’ perspective….

Before last May, I’d had limited dealings with Coach Moore. Okay, let’s be honest. I had seen Coach Moore in the hallways a few times while serving as a recruiting hostess for the athletic program back…. Well, a ‘few’ years ago. But being the ever devoted Bama fan and low-man-on-the-totem-pole booster, I always try to catch Crimson Caravan each year. My mom and I made our way down 280 and into the conference center. Armed with a glass of wine, I was feeling exceptionally bold. Backstory: I’ve been to every one of these and yet to meet Nick Saban. These people are for real. I didn’t camp for the new iphone, I didn’t camp for….. Well, I don’t camp. So needless to say I wasn’t standing in that nonsensical line.

As I’m going thru this whole diatribe to my mom, when what to my wondering eyes do appear?  Coach Mal Moore, y’all….. The man who can be argued as the most important person in the history of our athletic program is walking right by me. Seriously? I got this….

So here I am, in retrospect, looking more like Harvey Updyke than I probably should have. After all the pleasantries, I asked him, “Coach, what would you have done had Saban not boarded that plane?”. His response, “Miss Heather, I’d be in hiding on some foreign beach”… He then went on to discuss our program for at least 15 minutes. The conversation ended and my very weak knees managed to find our table.

Hours later, as we were leaving the conference center, I spotted Coach Moore on the sidewalk alone. In good humor, I said, “Coach Moore, do you need a ride home?”. His response, “Ms. Heather, you’re so kind. But my ride is pulling up.”

Coach Moore never needed acclamation. He just had a love for his gorgeous wife Charlotte, backup quarterbacks, and all things Crimson……

P.S. Any man that remembers your name, let alone adds Miss to it, listened to his mama somewhere down the line….

Morning Six Pack: April 1, 2012

Even an April Fool knows you can’t start the day without a sixpack of college football stories from around the country.

Arkansas' Bret Bielema: Nick Saban's Big Ten record 'can't compare'

Former Wisconsin coach, who led Badgers to three Rose Bowls, says: "I came here to beat Alabama."

Notre Dame football: Wood's return improves Irish options

The injury came innocently enough, arriving as Lo Wood was going through a simple backpedal during an August practice. In fact, Wood thought he had been kicked in the back of his left foot by a safety.

Auburn defensive linemen shoulder blame for defense's lack of production, turnovers in 2012

Auburn struggled to sack the quarterback and defend fast-paced offenses in 2012. The root of the problem, says defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker, was the defensive line.

Climer: Butch Jones shows moxie Vols need

In time, we will find out if Butch Jones can win football games at the University of Tennessee.

Spring practice report: Mississippi State offense tinkers with pro-style look

Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell spends roughly half his practice snaps under center, as Dan Mullen tries out new look.


My last interview with Moore came in January. He reflected on the days that led to his hiring of Nick Saban as Alabama's head football coach, one of the greatest of many legacies. When we were finished, I asked Moore about his future. He scolded me for asking. I explained that we were hearing rumors. He insisted he had no plans to retire.

"What would I do?" he asked.

I accepted his word but told him I might have to ask again. If only I could now.

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