Joined by a Army veteran from Enterprise, Ala., Alabama head football coach Nick Saban threw out the first pitch for the Alabama baseball team’s series opener against No. 9 Arkansas.
Video of the pitch, which bounced in the batter’s box, is below. You can click here to read the preview for the series and stay tuned to The Daily Bama Blog for coverage of the game. TOnight’s game is being televised by ESPNU.
The University of Alabama Athletic Department officially announced the hiring of Mario Cristobal as the offensive line coach and assistant head coach, replacing Jeff Stoutland.
“We are very pleased to announce the addition of Mario Cristobal to our staff,” Saban said. “He has an outstanding reputation as both a coach and a recruiter. He will be a great fit in our organization and I think our players will respond to his positive attitude and energy.
“This is a very important hire in terms of working with our offensive line and we feel fortunate that we were able to hire a coach of Mario’s caliber. We want to welcome Mario and his family to the University of Alabama and we are excited to have them here.”
Cristobal won the Sun Belt Coach of the Year Award and the Sun Bely Conference Championship as the head coach at Florida International from 2007-2012. Cristobal was fired from FIU after the 2012 season and was hired as the tight ends coach at Miami, Cristobal’s alma mater, on Jan. 10, 2013.
Cristobal was previously an assistant at Rutgers and Miami before taking the FIU head coaching job in 2007.
After Director of Media Relation Cathy Andreen and athletic director Mal Moore released statements on Tuesday morning, head coach Nick Saban released his Tuesday afternoon.
In the statement, Saban officially suspends the four players arrested Monday night: Brent Calloway, Eddie Williams, D.J. Pettway and Tyler Hayes.
“The young men charged are indefinitely suspended as we continue to gather information and talk to the appropriate people. The University and football program have strict guidelines regarding issues of this magnitude. This behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football program.”
Actually, that’s probably not completely fair. New York Times reporter Robert Weintraub wrote a wonderful piece about Southeastern Conference Media Days and the atmosphere surrounding what has become a huge college football event.
The article was published online Friday, although according to a note at the bottom of it, it was scheduled to appear in the print edition Saturday. Within the article, Weintraub refers to an Alabama fan in the Wynfrey hotel lobby who was holding a movie poster for “Nick Saban: Gamechanger.” The documentary was released in 2010. Weintraub referred to it as “a faux movie poster featuring (Saban) as a character called ‘The Gamechanger.’ ”
A quick check of Google or even the Internet Movie Database would have revealed that this was a real movie. Even so, the article is a good read and gives an interesting outsider’s perspective to Media Days.
See everything from James Carpenter’s weigh-in to the South team’s practice including Greg McElroy throwing passes, signing autographs and posing for pictures with Archie Manning. Nick Saban also made an appearance at practice along with several NFL head coaches.
Also see a few new snap shots in the photo gallery.
It’s just another reasonably warm afternoon in Tuscaloosa and the Tide football team was back on the field preparing for its top-10 showdown with Arkansas.
Check out this video including the offensive line, Nick Saban working with the defensive backs and the linebackers.
You can also click here to watch the new viral video of a mother threatening to take her crying young child into “the Auburn store” in what appears to be the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover. This one is making the rounds today so why not pass it along.
It’s back to the weekly grind this Monday afternoon. Here’s what is making news in the Alabama universe this week.
- The Alabama/Florida game will air in prime time next Saturday. CBS picked up the SEC Championship rematch for its 7 p.m. (Central) broadcast. It will be the third night game of the year through five games.
- Nothing major came out of the afternoon news conference with Nick Saban and selected players.
- On the injury front, the only player Saban won’t practice today is defensive end Luther Davis. He sprained an ankle and a knee against Duke, but Saban expects he’ll be back for Tuesday’s practice.
- Mark Ingram said he was a little sore after his big debut at Duke, but it wasn’t anything unusual.
Check out this video of former Tide linebacker Rolando McClain getting nasty in yesterday’s game with the Raiders. More to come later.
Before heading to the airport, I offer you this final look around the gorgeous Duke campus. From Cameron Indoor Stadium to Wallace Wade Stadium, it’s hard to come away unimpressed by the scenery. Enjoy and I’ll catch you back in Alabama.
For now at least, the press box wireless is operable, so I can report the crowd is about 50/50 at this point. There are Bama fans everywhere including Cameron Indoor Stadium which is right next to Wallace Wade Stadium.
A few writers and I walked over to the legendary home of the Blue Devil basketball program. There were a few hundred fans — mostly wearing crimson — milling about taking pictures when Coach K walked through. (I’d look up the proper spelling, but there are more important things to do right now.
Punters and kickers are booting it around with 76:33 showing on the countdown to kickoff.
Wallace Wade Stadium as seen Friday night.
The rumors aren’t positive surrounding the internet situation at Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium tonight. Alabama writers have been warned all week about the potential pitfalls of covering this afternoon’s game in a stadium not accustomed to crowds this size.
So, with that, I hope it all comes together this afternoon so I can provide some insight from the game.
If wireless isn’t working, I hope my phone can still provide updates on twitter. Click here to follow along via the popular microblogging site.
I slacked Thursday and failed to post an update for the first time in quite awhile. It is normally catch-up day in the never ending week of a beat writer. I apologize and promise not to make excuses in the future.
Today is for travel. I’ll be updating later on with all the wonders Durham has to offer. Here are a few more stories to read while waiting for tomorrow afternoon’s kickoff from Duke.
Getting ready for Tide of RVs (The Herald-Sun of Durham)
Cutcliffe learned at Alabama (McClatchy Newspapers)
Tide fans play nice with Penn State (Scripps Newspapers)
Amid building boom, colleges seek right fit in stadiums (Mobile Press-Register)
‘Bama won’t need to Duke it out (Boston Herald)
Mark Ingram appears to be running and cutting just fine on the left knee he injured Aug. 30. Watch him, Trent Richardson and the rest of the Crimson Tide running backs at practice Wednesday afternoon.
For a few other scenes from practice, see this one.
And if you want a good laugh, read this opinion piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail that speaks out against the unsportsmanlike act of cheering too loudly during a football game.
It’s not a stunning announcement, but Nick Saban said Wednesday morning that Mark Ingram will see the field Saturday at Duke.
Speaking on the weekly SEC teleconference, Saban said the extent of Ingram’s playing time had not been determined, but he will play a role Saturday in Durham.
The Heisman Trophy winner has been running and cutting just fine on the knee that suffered minor damage late in a Aug. 30 practice. It kept him from playing the first two weeks, but he’ll be back in the third.
Check out video of him practicing Monday and Tuesday.
We didn’t see him all last week, but Mark Ingram was back on the practice field during Monday’s media viewing period.
Sporting a brace on his left knee, but a regular white jersey instead of the black non-contact version reserved for injured players. He didn’t appear to be running or walking with a limp so his return Saturday at Duke looks like a decent bet. But you can judge for yourself.
And for a poor attempt at a time lapse of Saturday’s game with Penn State, here you go.
The weekly wait for kickoff times began today when the league and its television partners rendered their first verdict this afternoon. Next Saturday’s SEC opener at Arkansas will be the 2:30 p.m. (Central) game on CBS.
Times and TV assignments are released 12 days in advance of the games, but the networks have the opportunity to postpone that decision a few times if it needs another week’s worth of results to decide which games mean more.
In other news…
- Mark Ingram is expected to practice some this afternoon. It’s been exactly two weeks since he hurt his knee late in practice. His status for Saturday’s game at Duke is still up in the air.
- Ingram’s replacement, Trent Richardson, shared SEC offensive player of the week honors with South Carolina freshman running back Marcus Lattimore. Remember, Richardson ran for 144 yards against Penn State.
- Greg McElroy’s Rhodes Scholarship application took the next step after he earned UA’s endorsement. The quarterback earned one of the two endorsements after last week’s interviews. He said five applied.
- Walk-on safety Will Lowery made his interview room debut today and was a hit. Talking about his first-quarter interception, he said a cousin later texted him say she’s “wet herself” after the big play.
- I’m never surprised by anything anymore.
- There was plenty of talk about Duke’s offense scoring 48 points against Wake Forest and even more about its defense allowing 54.
On a side note, I have to brag about scoring a 103-point word on “Words with Friends.” If anyone wants to challenge the master, my username is MCasagrande.”
Read more later and come on back for practice video.