17 August 2011
The University of Alabama took to the practice field in full pads for the first practice of Wednesday. In relatively mild temperatures for August, the Tide got after it hot and heavy this morning. In a 24 hour period where the vast majority of news is coming from off-the-field areas, it was good to see the Tide focused on football.
More after the jump.
First, the geographicals. Still no Duron Carter. Still no Danny Woodson, Jr. One or the other should be in camp a week from today when classes start. Carter is still waiting on transcript issues to be resolved. If they aren't, look for Woodson to step into camp as his replacement. If they are, Woodson will join the team in January.
Now, the medicals. No black jerseys (except non-contact quarterbacks). Defensive lineman Damion Square caught a sharp poke to the eye (presumably in practice this week) and wore a visor to protect that. On the other side of that coin, long snapper Carson Tinker showed absolutely no signs he has been limited by surgery following the April 27 tornadoes. No cast, no heavy tape, nothing. He certainly seems ready to play.
The positionals? Well, as promised, Christion Jones worked more and more with the receivers; Saban noted that's where he seems he'll land - for now at least. Blake Sims continues to get work during the media period at running back. It's a virtual certainty that he is getting quarterback work after the media are ushered out.
Phelon Jones worked a bit at first team corner. This doesn't mean that Jones is or will be the starter at corner. Likely, it's an indication that Jones needs more reps - something Saban and company likely discovered when Dee Milliner cut his chin in the scrimmage. Depth at corner is a concern for the staff.
The biggest news in college football today, though is the long awaited Charles Robinson "10 out of 10" story. Robinson had promised a few months back that he was working on a story that would be "10 out of 10" in terms of violations and impact. Late yesterday afternoon, he delivered.
His report on Miami is well documented, details specific allegations with multiple confirming sources. It's backed up by paperwork and telephone records. It is damning.
It stands in stark contrast to the "allegations" levelled at Alabama in the past few weeks by internet gossip rags Sports By Brooks and the brand new Clay Travis site Outkick the Coverage. They've trafficked in innuendo and internet link baiting for the past few months about the T-Town Menswear "situation".
Yes, there are photos that seem like they might suggest something may have, at one time, gone badly. But there's no corroboration. There's no evidence of any wrongdoing. There's smoke, but no fire. And, it's not especially interesting smoke.
In addition to the lack of actual evidence, there's been the long, slow striptease of the "reveal" of the "evidence". There have been scores of Facebook photographs that Brooks and Travis posted over weeks and weeks. The Facebook has been closed since day one. So, the conscious decision was made to drag out photos of "wrongdoing" over weeks.
Again, contrast this with the professionalism and skill of Robinson. He broke the biggest story in college football. One of the best documented and most well done pieces of journalism in the history of the internet. If you do that sort of thing, eyeballs (and ads, and dollars) follow. If you drag it out over weeks, you can make your fledgling site look like it has sustained hits. One of those deserves a Pulitzer. The other deserves a lifetime of ads for boner pills.
In the process of working on this post, Danny Sheridan revealed himself to be cut from that same cloth. Sheridan had promised to reveal the Auburn "bag man" who paid Cam Newton on Paul Finebaum's show. He'd promoted that via Twitter. Finebaum had also promoted that fact. Sheridan went on the air today and said he would not reveal that person's identity due to the advice of his attorney. As I said on my Twitter feed (follow me!), either Sheridan spoke with an attorney before now and is a liar, or didn't and he's a fool. Either way, I'm done with him. This kind of thing is bad journalism, and it's bad. Period.
We'll have more from this evening's practice, well, this evening. It'll be late, but not NXOJKT late.
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