Monthly Archives: June 2011

UPDATED: Trent Richardson OK after hit-and-run incident

Update 4:25 p.m.: The issue appears to be nothing more than a minor traffic incident. A  person familiar with the details said another car backed into Richardson’s early this morning. Police were called when the other party was not cooperative, but charges weren’t filed.

The details are hazy at best while the general facts are clear. Trent Richardson is fine, but he had a bad night.

He was the victim on a hit-and-run at 1:30 a.m. Thursday. A statement from  Tuscaloosa police said he opted not to press charges for misdemeanor menacing.

Was he in a car? Was he walking at the time of the incident? Those details are not clear, but a spokesman at UA said Richardson is physically fine this afternoon.

According to Alabama law, menacing is defined as “A person commits the crime of menacing if, by physical action, he intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.”

More to come on this, hopefully. The AP contributed to this report.

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Harvey Updyke trial postponed

Justice will have to wait in the case of Harvey Updyke and the poisoned trees at Toomer’s Corner. Here’s the latest from the Associated Press:

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — A judge said Thursday he was delaying the trial of the University of Alabama fan charged with poisoning the oak trees at Auburn University’s Toomer’s Corner, meaning the case could kick off during football season.

A one-sentence order said the Harvey Updyke Jr., 62, was being postponed until the next court session in Lee County at the agreement of both prosecutors and the defense.

While Updyke’s trial was expected to begin this summer, officials said he probably won’t go on trial now before mid-November. The Tigers will end the regular season that month with home games against Samford and Alabama.

Neither prosecutors nor a defense lawyer immediately returned messages seeking comment.

Updyke is accused of criminal mischief and other charges after authorities said he put poison around the bases of the two live oak trees at Toomer’s Corner. Auburn fans traditionally roll them with toilet paper after a big victory.

Criminal charges stem from party where Aaron Douglas found dead

The investigation into Aaron Douglas’ death now includes criminal charges against the four residents of the Florida house where the Alabama football player was found dead May 12.

The four were charged with “allowing an open house party wherein at least sixteen (16) persons under the age of twenty-one (21) were present and allowed to consume alcoholic beverages and / or narcotics by those in control of the residence,” according to a news release from Fernandina Beach police.

The four charged range in ages from 24 to 21.

The news release also stated the investigation into Douglas’ death remains open.

An autopsy ruled Douglas’ death an accidental drug overdose. Read more about that by clicking here.

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More photos, a 360-degree view of Tuscaloosa recovery

Corner of 15th and McFarland (click to enlarge)

First, check out this 360-degree view from what was the Cedar Crest neighborhood near the intersection of 15th Street  and McFarland. It was once full of small houses occupied mostly by UA students.

Next, check out this album of snapshots I took yesterday from various places around Tuscaloosa. You’ll see the progress being made in the mammoth effort that is tornado cleanup.

Tuscaloosa: 2 months after 2011 tornado

Now, a few more panoramics.

5th Ave. NE in Holt (click to enlarge)

Forest Lake

Another in Holt

For all of the previous posts dealing with the tornado, click here.

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Video of Tuscaloosa two months after the tornado

See the video below to see how the city of Tuscaloosa continues to heal from the tornado that came through April 27. The second video is the one I took one month after the storm May 25. You’ll see the progress made in cleaning the mess left behind.

And from a month ago.

More to come.

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Revisiting before/after tornado pictures 2 months later

Here is an update to the before and after pictures I’ve previously posted from a few sites across Tuscaloosa now that two months have passed since the April 27 tornado. You’ll see a lot of progress has been made in the debris removal process, though a lot of work is left.

We start on Fifth Avenue NE in Holt.

Before

After

May 25, 2011 (Click to enlarge)

June 28, 2011

Then there was the Wallace house.

Before

After

Click to enlarge

June 28, 2011

Here’s Forest Lake a month ago, then tod5ay.

May 25, 2011

June 28, 2011

From the other side

May 25, 2011

June 28, 2011

More to come tomorrow including video of the area.

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Two Alabama football players suspended, one won't return

The offseason of attrition continues for the Alabama football team. The school just released details on three players who’ve been subject of plenty of speculation.

Defensive back Robby Green will not return for the 2011 season, according to a release from the school. Green was suspended for the entire 2010 season by the NCAA and was held out of this past spring’s practices for violating team rules.

Redshirt freshman receiver Keiwone Malone and sophomore defensive lineman Darrington Sentimore were “suspended indefinitely,” Nick Saban said.

In case you’re not keeping score at home, here’s the list of offseason transactions for the Crimson Tide footballers.

Left program
DB B.J. Scott
RB Demetrius Goode
RB Corey Grant
LB Petey Smith
DB Robby Green

Suspended indefinitely
WR Keiwone Malone
DL Darrington Sentimore

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Alabama's Hoffman named SEC female athlete of the year

Kayla Hoffman, the Tide gymnast who led the school to a national title and survived the April 27 tornado, was honored by the SEC today.

Named the SEC female athlete of the year, Hoffman is the sixth from Alabama to earn the honor. Jeana Rice, also a gymnast, was the last to win the female award in 2004 while Mark Ingram was the male winner last year.

Hoffman was named the NCAA gymnast of the year on the same day she narrowly escaped the EF-4 tornado that hit Tuscaloosa in April. Read about that here in the Sports Illustrated story.

Read more for the complete history of the SEC award.

Continue reading

SEC basketball coaches looking forward

We’re right in the middle of the summer basketball teleconference for SEC coaches. There are all kinds of topics on the table ranging from summer recruiting, to a 22-game conference schedule to elimination of divisions.

The shifting power structure is also being discussed. Kentucky, of course, will still be right there with another big recruiting class. Vanderbilt is another hot team — Georgia coach Mark Fox said they should compete for the Final Four.

Then there’s Alabama who’s gaining traction with the big recruiting class and the return of JaMychal Green, Tony Mitchell and Trevor Releford. The Tide is getting love from a few coaches.

Billy Donovan said his team will need a few new key parts after losing a few big names and Tennessee is in a rebuilding mode. So it should be interesting.

Anthony Grant is coming up soon. An update will come after that.

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Report: Ex-Tide RB Corey Grant to play at Auburn

And this offseason couldn’t get any more interesting between Alabama and Auburn? You’d think. Then this happens.

Corey Grant, who recently announced he was leaving Tuscaloosa, is headed to his old school’s arch enemy. Click here to read the story about the Opelika product who’ll start summer classes at Auburn tomorrow.

Grant never saw the field in his one season at Alabama. He redshirted, but will still have to sit out this fall because of NCAA transfer rules.

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Video best of Alabama football tailgating 2010

It’s the middle of summer, so why not relive part of last fall. Here’s a look at the pregame settings for all 13 Alabama football games last season.

While you’re here check out the other two best-of videos of the summer.

More to come this summer.

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Ex-Tide RB Terry Grant lands in Canada

Grant

Terry Grant was once the leading rusher at Alabama. That was 2007. Then came Glen Coffee followed by Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. By 2009, Grant was buried deep on the depth chart.

His career is resurrecting itself these days north of the border. After participating in pro day activities this spring in Tuscaloosa, Grant was picked up by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League.

Click here to read about Grant in the Toronto Sun after he scored a touchdown in the Tiger-Cats’ Wednesday preseason game. He ran for 85 yards on five carries including the 54-yard touchdown run.

Only one other former Alabama player is listed on a CFL roster. That would be linebacker Juwan Simpson who plays for Calgary.

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UNA stock piles FBS talent

It’s no secret Terry Bowden put together a roster at Division II North Alabama that’s full of talent. They’ve welcomed players by the bus load who left/was asked to leave some of the top programs in the country.

Exiled Florida defensive back Janoris Jenkins became the most recent addition yesterday. That makes 34 members of the 2010 roster and offseason transfers for 2011 who came from the Football Bowl Subdivision we once knew as Division I-A.

Here’s a breakdown of the transfers and where they came from that should put the pressure on Bowden to win a Division II championship some time soon. Also, read this story from the TimesDaily detailing some of the transfers.

SEC (11)
RB Demetrius Goode, Alabama
DB Rod Woodson, Alabama
DB Travis Robinson, Alabama
K Kolby Taylor, Alabama
WR Ralph Spry, Auburn
WR Tim Hawthorn, Auburn
DB Janoris Jenkins, Florida
DB Bryan Thomas, Florida
OL Seaver Brown, South Carolina
DB Brent Vinson, Tennessee
OL William Brimfield, Tennessee

Florida State (8)
DE Jamar Jackson
WR Cameron Wade
QB Cory Eddinger
OL Brandon Davis
OL Kyle Futch
OL Will Furlong
WR Jarmon Fortson
TE Brandon Warren

Rest of FBS (14)
WR Donald Bowens, NC State
WR Jyrone Hickman, Colorado State
QB Joseph Anderson, Troy
WR Eugene Harris, Miami-Ohio
RB Wes Holland, Navy
LB Lucas Darr, South Florida
DB Avery Jackson, MTSU
TE Thor Merrow, West Virginia
DE Courtney Harris, Miami
OL Kyle Thornton, Texas
TE Rashad Phillips, NC State
DE Steven Wesley, Miami
DL Nate Frazier, Navy
CB Emmanual Allen, UAB

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UPDATED: Bud Cauley finishes at US Open

Update: The final totals are in. Cauley’s first professional weekend brought in $18,620. Not bad.

The first event as a professional went pretty well for former Alabama golfer Bud Cauley. It started better than it ended, though.

He finished 9-over at the US Open after opening with rounds of 71-72, Cauley finished 74-76 to finish in a tie with Bubba Watson among others. As of 3:25 p.m., Sunday, that means a tie for 63rd. That’s still well in the money. Click here to see his four score cards from the week.

Check back later for the paycheck he’ll earn for his first weekend of paid work. I’m guessing it’ll be larger than mine and yours.

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When a legend is lost

We don’t always realize it, but alternate dimensions quietly crisscross our known universe. We live in these parallel worlds, mixing in with the general population, but celebrate our own holidays and victories.

A back-roads minor league baseball team matters little to most, but is the reason for waking every morning for a few. For most of you, your world Alabama football — not so obscure in these parts.

Last night, the universe shook where my roots were planted. For most, it was small headline, over morning coffee. But for those of us perpetually stuck on E Street, it was a gut punch.

Clarence Clemons, the seemingly immortal saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen revealed he wasn’t after all Saturday night. He died six days after suffering a stroke that would have killed most instantly.

Clemons (via backstreets.com)

The Big Man wouldn’t exit that quietly, though.

He held on and, as news reports indicated, improved since last Sunday’s initial reports. But at 69, he got the call last night in a hospital room in Florida.

I was fortunate to see one of the last performances Clemons played with Bruce when the band came to Nashville in November, 2009. He wasn’t as mobile, but the saxophone was no-less powerful as they tore through the Born to Run album. We heard his stirring solo on “Jungleland” (heard here) and the story of joining the band on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” (heard here).

It was magic.

But now some of the illusion is gone.

We’ll get back to Alabama football Monday morning. Fall isn’t far off. For today, though, blog headquarters takes a moment to honor one of our heroes. Our corner of the universe needs a day.