NORMAN AREY COLUMN: Some random thoughts on Nick Saban and Alabama
I had to laugh when former Alabama assistant and now head coach at Florida Atlantic Lane Kiffin said, “I’m not really big on humiliating assistant coaches in front of everybody.” Kiffin, of course, was on the receiving end of some salty Nick Saban salvos during his tenure in Tuscaloosa. … And speaking of Saban, he pronounced Alabama’s spring effort “adequate” after the A-Day Game. Saban also admitted he would “never get over” losing the national title game to Clemson. … Still on the subject of Alabama, former linebacker Reuben Foster, who was sent home from the NFL combine, admitted he failed the drug test. … Miami’s Beach Bowl is leaving Miami. My guess is it won’t be called the Miami Beach Bowl next year in Frisco, Texas. … Oklahoma State lost a game last year due to admittedly bad officiating, but still finished 10-3 with a bowl win. On the bowl rings, the Cowboys refused to accept the loss and listed their record as 11-2.
Shaq O’Neal’s son, Shareef O’Neal, committed to play basketball at Arizona. The young O’Neal is “only” 6-foot-9, 200-pounds, which is nothing like his father’s playing size of 7-feet-1, 300 pounds. … Nike executive George Raveling said this about obnoxious, big-mouthed father LaVar Ball, father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball: “He’s the worst thing to happen to basketball in the last 100 years.” … Duke has lost another player as Frank Jackson has entered the NBA draft, but Jackson won’t hire an agent and can come back to the Blue Devils if he so chooses. … Jim Harbaugh and his team are in Italy for spring practice. Harbaugh was reprimanded by the police for throwing a football in a shopping mall.
Hither & yon
Rome has an unsung celebrity, of sorts. Larry G. Morris Sr. was a football official in the first college game ever played in the Georgia Dome. … Unlikely business parties are Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush, who are pooling funds and knowledge to buy the Miami Marlins. … Indiana University has a new policy which bans any athletes with a history of sexual or domestic violence, and that’s in all sports. …
Sadly, pro golfer Tiger Woods underwent his fourth back surgery last week. … With most schools through with spring practice, the top five attendances have been Ohio State, 80,134; Nebraska, 78,372; Alabama, 74,326; Penn State, 71,000; and Georgia, 66,185.
Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff on whether the Falcons would stay away from players who are red-flagged in the draft: “We’re not looking for angels.”
Out & about
The University of Virginia basketball program and coach Tony Bennett have some internal problems plaguing them. Three underclassmen players announced, within 48 hours of each other, that they will transfer. … Markelle Fultz, a guard on the University of Washington basketball team, seems to be the overwhelming name bandied about for top pick in the NBA draft. … And you think booing is bad? Danish soccer fans shower their opponents with deceased rats during games. … Just a thought, but if former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville is serious about running for governor of Alabama, how’s he going to persuade all the Crimson Tide fans in the state to vote for him? … Rome High seems to be a treasure trove for LSU. Three players from this year’s football state title team have committed to coach Ed Orgeron — Jamarcus Chatman, Ja’Quon Griffin and former Georgia commit Adam Anderson. … Georgia offensive lineman signee D’Antne Demery has been cut loose by the Bulldogs after being arrested and charged with simple battery and criminal trespass concerning his girlfriend. … New Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing recorded his first basketball commitment over the weekend as he got an agreement from 6-foot-3 point guard Jahvon Blair out of Canada. Blair had trimmed his choices down to Georgetown and Georgia Tech.
Former Minnesota Twins’ All-Star Rod Carew had to have a heart transplant to save his life, and the heart he received came from former journeyman NFL tight end Konrad Reuland. Reuland died at 29 of a massive brain aneurysm and Carew’s life was saved. Since, Carew and the Reuland family have visited on several occasions and will do some fundraising together.