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Team: Alabama Crimson Tide

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The SEC hired Ben Oldham to serve as coordinator of football replay.
Oldham will report to coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw. While he has not served as an on-field official since 2000's Sugar Bowl showdown between Florida State and Virginia Tech, he has remained active behind the scenes as a replay official. In a statement, Shaw said, "Ben Oldham brings four decades worth of officiating experience in [both on-field and replay booth work] and I am excited to have him serve in this role as we embark on a new era of instant replay in the SEC." Jun 22 - 3:04 PM

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Alabama AD Bill Battle will undergo a stem cell transplant to treat his cancer.

Battle was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014. In a statement released on Tuesday, he said, "I am very comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment plan. I am looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing my active lifestyle, as well as continuing to lead our Athletics Department." Dr. Sagar Lonial, from Emory University Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Treatment Center, said that Battle's cancer is in "a good partial remission" Per the school press release, this is not considered a life-threatening ailment. Battle will be stepping away from the office for several weeks as he undergoes his treatment.
Jun 21 - 3:50 PM

The Alabama assistant coaching staff received raises on Tuesday.

As previously reported, OC Lane Kiffin is not among those receiving raises, as he continues to draw that sweet severance money from USC. As for the rest, co-DC Tosh Lupoi (raise of $125,000) and RB coach Burton Burns (raise of $130,000) drew the biggest reworked contracts. Details as to new DC Jeremy Pruitt's contract were also released. Pruitt will draw $1 million per year on a three-year deal.
Jun 21 - 2:49 PM

Alabama's assistant coaching staff will receive amended contracts.

The Compensation Committee for the Board of Trustees will go over the contracts of the assistant coaching staff on Tuesday. Save for one. OC Lane Kiffin's contract will not be adjusted. He is still receiving buyout money from USC after being fired in 2013, which has allowed Alabama to hold off on actual raises. To wit, last season, the Trojans paid Kiffin $3.4 million. With Alabama, he is entering the final year of the three-year contract he signed in 2014.
Jun 20 - 1:30 PM

Per ESPN Stats & Info, Alabama ranked 99th in the country with a red-zone touchdown percentage of just 55% in 2015.

Bama not only struggled in the red zone, they also ranked a horrendous 87th in terms of third-down conversions (converting on only 37% of downs). While it wouldn't be fair to put all of these struggles on QB Jake Coker, his general inconsistency as a play-maker is a likely reason for some of these struggles. The red zone stat, in particular, is eye-opening given that the Tide had Derrick Henry in the backfield. All of these numbers could see an uptick in 2016 if Cooper Bateman or Blake Barnett can capitalize on the immense offensive skill-position talent present on the team for this coming season.
Jun 12 - 2:02 PM

Alabama HC Nick Saban said that he plans on using the summer to strengthen his bond with the team.

"I'm concerned about our players doing the right thing when it comes to being good people," Saban said before the annual Nick's Kids Golf Tournament, "going to school and knowing what they're supposed to do academically, as well as do the things that we can to help them with in terms of trying to develop them and get them ready for the season." It wouldn't take too much reading between the lines to draw the conclusion that tackle Cam Robinson's May arrest might be weighing on Saban's soul a bit. "I feel like I don't get to spend enough time around our players," he said. Saban will not be attending any satellite camps this summer as he looks to focus more on his boys.
Jun 9 - 3:49 PM

Alabama has hired former Eagles VP of Player Personnel Ed Marynowitz as an Associate Athletic Director.

Marynowitz was Chip Kelly's right hand man during his time with the Eagles after winning the power struggle over Howie Roseman. We all know how that front office dynamic ended, with Kelly off to the 49ers, Marynowitz out of a job and Roseman back in a decision making role for the Eagles. Marynowitz was the Crimson Tide's director of player personnel from 2008-12 and strongly believes in the use of analytics, namely athletic testing scores.
Jun 9 - 11:45 AM

The SEC expanded its "serious misconduct" rule that restricts certain transfers.

Previously, the rule had barred conference teams from taking on transfer students who at any point of their enrollment in college had been convicted or pled guilty or no contest to serious misconduct such as sexual assault or domestic violence. The restriction's reach has been extended to include dating violence and stalking, now. Commissioner Greg Sankey addressed the fact that the regulation seems to be covering quite a bit of broad ground that could use defining. "It’s a vague world. It’s a recognition that you can’t define everything within one page," Sankey said.
Source: SEC Country
Jun 3 - 1:38 PM

Alabama HC Nick Saban said, "I don't really care what [Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh] thinks or tweets."

During the SEC spring meetings on Tuesday, Saban went on a lengthy rant against satellite camps, calling them the "wild, wild West." Harbaugh shot back on Twitter later that day by referencing the April resignation of Tide DL coach Bo Davis, who had illegal contact with a recruit. "'Amazing' to me - Alabama broke NCAA rules & now their HC is lecturing us on the possibility of rules being broken at camps. Truly 'amazing.'" Saban stood firm against this social media dig and actually used it to illustrate his point. "Yes," Saban said, "my concern with these camps is only heightened by the fact that we had a coach [Davis] that had an illegal bump and had to leave the staff."
Jun 1 - 1:30 PM

At the SEC spring meetings, Alabama HC Nick Saban went on a five-minute diatribe against satellite camps.

"There have been no specific guidelines relative to how we're managing control of this stuff," Saban said. "It's happening outside the normal evaluation window, which means we're taking time away from our players." He stressed that this is not a Jim Harbaugh issue -- Harbaugh is a supporter of satellite camps -- but rather a wider issue. "Harbaugh can do whatever he wants to do if he thinks that's what's best. There needs to be somebody who looks out for what's best for the game, not the SEC or the Big Ten or Jim Harbaugh," he said. Saban is in favor of a college football commissioner, but would not offer a candidate for the position, saying, "I'm not into politics."
May 31 - 4:24 PM

An SB Nation poll of 31 top-300 recruits for 2017 (by 247Sports' composite rankings) revealed that Alabama HC Nick Saban is viewed as the best coach in college football.

Not every recruit answered every question, but Saban earned 37.1% of the votes on the "Best Coach" question, with Clemson HC Dabo Swinney taking second place with 16.67%. That gap narrowed when recruits were asked to rank coaching staffs as a whole (Alabama 25%, Clemson 18.75%). Alabama and Clemson also went 1-2 on the question of the best facilities.
Source: SB Nation
May 31 - 1:24 PM

Sports Illustrated's Colin Becht believes that "the gap between [Alabama and Clemson] is likely to widen this year rather than shrink."

"This may sound like blindly giving Alabama the benefit of the doubt," Becht wrote, "but when a program has recruited as well as Nick Saban's has—two No. 1-ranked classes, a No. 2-ranked class and a No. 4-ranked class in the last four years, according to—it’s earned it." The analyst still predictably loves Clemson's offense, but expressed concern in regards to their secondary after Mackenzie Alexander, Jayron Kearse and T.J. Green all absconded to the NFL. Four-star S Van Smith of this most recent recruiting class is the only four-star player at that position that Clemson has brought in over the last three recruiting cycles.
May 20 - 3:03 PM

Pro Football Focus ranks Alabama No. 1 in the nation heading into the summer.

The ranking was published Wednesday, after news of Cam Robinson's arrest. "Even though they’ve lost 5,079 defensive snaps to the NFL, they return eight players in their front-seven who played at least 180 snaps and graded positively, including two pass-rush forces in DT Jonathan Allen and the nation’s most efficient snap-for-snap pass rusher in OLB Tim Williams," Steve Palazzolo wrote. Offensively, QBs Cooper Bateman or former Elite 11 champion Blake Barnett will have an outstanding supporting cast to work with. "[The Tide] will be right in the mix for the National Championship once again," Palazzolo wrote.
May 18 - 7:03 PM

Athlon released its Top-25 ranking on Monday afternoon, with Alabama No. 1.

"The Crimson Tide suffered key losses on both sides of the ball, but this team reloads as well as any in the nation," Athlon noted. "Expect Nick Saban's team to lean on its defense and ground attack until the offense finds stability at quarterback." The Crimson Tide were No. 2 in Sports Illustrated's own top-25, behind Oklahoma.
May 16 - 4:52 PM

Alabama HC Nick Saban resents the impression that his players enter the NFL with excessive wear and tear.

His argument is compelling: "When you talk to NFL teams, none of them ever say that to me. I don't know where that came from. Eddie Lacy comes out and is rookie of the year as a running back. Where's the wear and tear? We had 45 guys on NFL rosters last year, which is more than any other college team, so where's the wear and tear? I don't see it. Dr. (Lyle) Cain and Dr. (James) Andrews are our team doctors who deal with a lot of NFL players. They monitor what we do with our players. I don't think this is factual at all, and I resent the fact that anybody in the NFL, with the access we give them, the things we do to try to help them ... that anyone would make a statement like that and hurt our program, if it were true." The Tide had seven players chosen in the 2016 draft, beginning with C Ryan Kelly heading to the Colts in Rd. 1.
May 13 - 4:41 PM