MyKael Wright, the No. 28-ranked prospect in class of 2019, commits to Oregon Ducks

Defensive back MyKael Wright, the No. 28-ranked prospect in the class of 2019, committed to Oregon on Thursday.
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Alabama’s (Other) Other Home Field

The Alabama Crimson Tide fields one of the most historically-steeped, wildly-successful sporting programs in the nation, a collegiate program with national championships and a lore that is unrivaled among its competitors. A component of that lofty, long-running on-field reputation is the battlefield upon which the Tide plies its wares on Saturdays in the fall, Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Though Alabama plays all its home games in those familiar stomping grounds these days, entertaining 100,000-plus spectators in Tuscaloosa when the Tide is in town for the weekend, there was a time in the not too distant past that Bama called other fields in the state home. Of course, everyone knows of Alabama’s affiliation with legendary Legion Field in Birmingham. Up until 2000, Alabama and Auburn regularly met there in a heated rivalry game that came to be known as “The Iron Bowl,” named so because of the native fixation on Birmingham’s historic affiliation with the steel industry. However, since 2000, Alabama has ceased play at the iconic Birmingham landmark, rather using its own home digs to accommodate the ravenous demand for live football seating and luxury-box amenities not afforded by the smaller, older stadium.

But there’s a lesser known stadium to the south in Mobile that the Alabama Crimson Tide once considered a home of sorts: Ladd Stadium. It’s much smaller than the likes of Bryant-Denny, a throwback to a simpler time when stadiums were privately-funded venues for sports and entertainment that were devoid of the jumbotrons and luxury boxes that are commonplace in modern sports entertainment. Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Memorial Stadium was the Tide’s second home-away-from-home for nearly two decades in the middle of the 20th century, and was the site of several milestones in the history of the program.

A little history

Ladd-Peebles Memorial Stadium (previously simply called Ladd Stadium) was originally constructed in 1948 (though it has been renovated and upgraded in recent years) using local private funding. That funding was largely spear-headed by Ernest F. Ladd, a Mobile banker of some repute who at the time was head of Merchants National Bank. Ladd had a vision to create a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment arena just west of downtown Mobile, and he obtained a large parcel of land between Michigan Avenue and Houston Street to bring that dream to fruition.

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Alabama football: Greg Byrne discusses scheduling, alcohol sales and potential changes to transfer rules

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus.

Greg Byrne goes on record

Multiple issues are surrounding college football and a few of them involve Alabama. College football is currently deciding what to do about alcohol sales in stadiums along with how to handle transfers. It seems like the state of college football is changing each year as these issues reach solutions. One of the issues that directly involves Alabama is scheduling. Alabama football and coach Nick Saban catch heat for scheduling Football Championship Subdivision schools. Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne discussed all of these issues and how Alabama plans to tackle them.

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In other headlines …

Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer reached out to a former Alabama athletic director for advice.

Men’s golf falls in national championship

Alabama men’s golf’s big season ended at the hands of Oklahoma State in the national championship. The men joined the women’s team as the country’s runners-up in the NCAA golf world. Oklahoma State dominated the Crimson Tide, winning all five matches. Oklahoma State took advantage of playing on its home course.

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Alabama Football: The top 25 rated recruits since 2000 will surprise

Looking back at the top 25 rated recruits from the 2000 – 2018 Alabama football classes reveals some surprises. College football recruiting is more art than science, even for programs like Alabama football that regularly attract the most well-known recruits. The rating services do a good job at a very difficult task. Measuring talent is […]Alabama Football: The top 25 rated recruits since 2000 will surprise - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Nick Saban and Kirby Smart disagree on this important topic

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide podcast with Ryan Fowler. In this edition, we talked with national recruiting analyst John Garcia about the addition of Layne Hatcher to Alabama’s quarterback room. Nick Saban and Kirby Smart disagree on a hot topic.

Topics discussed:

We are live in Destin for SEC Spring Meetings (Beach report coming later this week)Saban shares his opinion on graduate transfer rule in the SECSmart shares a different opinion on the graduate transfer rule in the SECGarcia of 247Sports shares his analysis on the latest headlines in the SECGarcia shares thoughts on the newest addition to Alabama’s quarterback depth chartGarcia talks about what this might mean for the other quarterbacksGarcia is a national recruiting analyst for 247Sports; you can connect with him by following his work on Twitter @JohnGarcia_JROn the Alabama Crimson Tide podcast on Tuesday we spoke with former Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom about working and playing for Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant

Miss a previous edition? Find every episode of SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide podcast right here.

NEXT 5-star UGA commit still seems like long shot for Alabama

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5-star UGA commit still seems like long shot for Alabama

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. In this edition, we talk the latest with a 5-star Georgia commit. 

Whenever I talk to Alabama fans about who they want to see in the Crimson Tide’s 2019 recruiting class, many times Nolan Smith II, a 5-star Jack linebacker from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) is mentioned. It could be because he is one of the most gifted players in the 2019 recruiting cycle, because he is committed to Georgia or a combination of both.

There were a few minutes on April 1 during which it seemed Smith was going to end up committing to Alabama after he announced his “de-commitment.” It turned out to be an April Fool’s joke that wasn’t executed well.

Still, Alabama fans and coaches have hoped to change Smith’s mind on the Bulldogs. His commitment to Georgia is stronger than ever, though.

“I’ve just felt a lot of love from Georgia and the people and the staff and the coaches,” Smith told my DawgNation colleague Jeff Sentell. “And there is a lot to love about Georgia.”

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Nick Saban visit lit fire under top-100 ATH Mark-Antony Richards — and still does

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Top-100 overall athlete Mark-Antony Richards has been looking forward to his recruiting process since the early part of 2016.

His older brother, Ahmmon Richards, was in the heat of his recruitment at the time, with Alabama, Auburn and Miami giving him the full-court press. The U.S. Army All-American receiver took trips to all three schools before choosing the Hurricanes, but an in-home visit from Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban left a lasting impression on his wide-eyed sibling.

“Seeing Nick Saban walk through my house had me like, ‘Whoa.’ I couldn’t believe he was there to see my brother,” Richards told SEC Country. “[Miami coach] Mark Richt, too. You watch them on TV growing up and you never really think it’ll happen to you. But when they came into my house, I told myself, ‘I want them to come back again.’ ”

That they will.

Richards is one of the nation’s most coveted athletes in the Class of 2019, with colleges recruiting him for both sides of the ball. He checks in as the No. 5 athlete in the 247Sports composite, and Rivals ranks him as the top all-purpose back in the country.

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Samantha Brunelle, Cameron Brink headline USA Basketball U17 roster

Sports

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Women Basketball Recruiting

May 30, 2018
espnW

Marc Piscotty/Icon Sportswire

Cameron Brink, the Oregon Gatorade player of the year and the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 class, will be representing Team USA for the first time.

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Recent history suggests Nick Saban is misguided about losing early, but may not be totally wrong

For years, the conventional line of thinking with college football was it was best to lose early than lose later in the year. There was evidence to suggest the weight of a loss later in the season had the power to drag a team down behind the competition in the race for a possible national championship; in an era where voters had the power to determine what teams would be deemed worthy of a national title opportunity. The College Football Playoff was designed to eliminate that stigma, but Alabama head coach Nick Saban says it is still best to lose early if you are going to lose. Of course, the problem here is, that is not necessarily true, and Saban of all coaches should understand that.

During the SEC spring meetings, Saban sat down with Paul Finebaum to discuss a number of topics, including Saban’s latest thoughts on strength of schedule and the College Football Playoff. Saban has always been vocal about his opinions regarding the direction of college football, and he tends to be a bit more progressive than others in his own conference. But his thoughts about when it is best to lose a game don’t quite have the legs to walk on at this point in time.

“This is one of the issues I have with the way we go through the Playoff, the whole deal is if you lose late in the season it has much more significant impact than if you lose early on,” Saban said to Finebaum. That was the line that grabbed the most reactions from across the college football landscape, largely because Saban’s own Alabama team managed to lose their last game of the regular season and was still chosen to play in the College Football Playoff. Saban couldn’t possibly be serious, right?

Not only did Alabama lose a game in November, the team the Tide defeated in the National Championship game, Georgia, also lost a game in November to the same Auburn team who beat Alabama. The only difference is that Georgia avenged their road loss to the Tigers with a victory in the SEC Championship Game. It ended up being Auburn, the last of the three SEC title contenders to lose a game before the bowl season, that was hurt the most by a late loss.

The previous season, national champion Clemson lost a game at home to Pittsburgh in November. On that same day, Washington lost a game against USC, only to eventually go on to the Playoff over two-loss Big Ten champion Penn State. Penn State lost both of their games in September, and they later defeated Ohio State, who was also chosen to play in the Playoff with just one loss.

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North Carolina Tar Heels Villanova Wildcats winners losers NBA draft deadline

There are several stages when it comes to projecting the next season in college basketball.

The 2018-19 picture is coming into clear view after the NBA draft early-entry deadline. The Jayhawks hold firm at the top spot, while Nevada rose higher in the top 10.

With much of the movement regarding recruiting and transfers finished, the NBA draft early entry deadline was the latest and most important step in determining how rosters are going to shape up for the 2018-19 season.

Who won and who lost at the deadline?

Winners

Nevada

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Saban and Smart go head-to-head on transfers

Nick Saban and Kirby Smart have gone head-to-head on transfers at the SEC Spring Meetings this week.

The Alabama head coach has long been derided for denying players the right to go where they want – particularly inside the SEC. This year he’s getting the heat for not allowing graduate student (and back-up center) Brandon Kennedy the right to transfer to Auburn or Tennessee. This comes a couple of years after the Maurice Smith debacle, where the SEC eventually had to intervene and let the player transfer to Georgia.

Smart wants to do quite the opposite – and let players transfer to whatever school they wish.

Typically, Saban shrugged his shoulders during a press conference and said that it is not him who makes the rules, but the SEC. “I don’t think it should be on me,” he said. “If we agree in the SEC at these meetings that we’re going to have free agency in our league and everybody can go where they want to go when they graduate and that’s what’s best for the game, then I think that’s what we should do,” he said. “”And Brandon Kennedy can go where he wants to go. But if we don’t do that, why is it on me? Because we have a conference rule that says he can’t do it. And he can do it but he’s supposed to sit out for a year. So why is it on me? It’s not even my decision.”

In one of his well-known sermons/rants from the media plinth, Saban added: “”Let me ask you a question: If we make a rule that guys can transfer whenever they want, how are we supposed to get people to do what they should do?” Saban said. “I’m not talking about as football players, I’m talking about as people. I’m talking about making good choices and decisions. … If a guy is missing class and I say you’re not going to play in this game because you’re missing class, which I’ve done on occasion, and he says, ‘I’m transferring,’ is that good?”

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SEC Football: The debate over graduate transfers and free agency

It is bash Nick Saban time again. As SEC football considers dropping its rule barring graduate transfers to other SEC schools, Nick is taking criticism for opposing the change. It is not uncommon for Nick Saban to be in the minority among SEC football coaches. Saban wants a nine-game SEC football schedule. He wants Power Five schools […]SEC Football: The debate over graduate transfers and free agency - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Alabama men’s golf: Crimson Tide advance to NCAA championship after dominating Duke

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus.

Championship bound

Less than six months after winning the national championship in football, Alabama has the chance to capture another title. Alabama’s men’s golf team will play for the national championship after beating Duke in the semifinals on Monday. It will face Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. CT on The Golf Channel. Oklahoma State defeated Auburn to reach the championship. Alabama defeated Duke 4-1.

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In other headlines …

Nick Saban discusses transfer rule

Alabama recently blocked offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy from transferring to an SEC school. This has happened to multiple players from multiple teams in the last several years. Some players have transferred to other SEC schools before, however. Cornerback Maurice Smith transferred from Alabama to Georgia two years ago. Still, many schools get criticized when players are blocked from going to other SEC schools. Saban receives criticism, too. At the SEC Spring Meetings, he weighed in on the rule.

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Nick Saban keeps taking heat for blocking transfers

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban doesn’t want to hear it anymore.

In recent seasons, the Alabama head coach has made waves while blocking his players from transferring within the SEC. But he doesn’t believe he deserves criticism for that. In fact, per ESPN’s Andy Scarborough, he doesn’t even understand the criticism.

“I don’t think it should be on me,” Saban says.

A couple of years ago, he would block DB Maurice Smith from transferring to Georgia. You all are aware of Georgia — that’s the school Alabama just beat for the National Championship. But this season, he’s blocking offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy — who reportedly has interest in both Auburn and Tennessee. Of course, we know all about the rivalry between Bama and Auburn. However, the blame doesn’t fall squarely on Saban. It’s SEC policy that a player cannot transfer within the conference without a waiver. And if said player chooses to transfer without said waiver, he must sit out for the entire season before being regaining eligibility.

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Alabama men’s golf vs. Oklahoma State for the national championship: Preview, TV info

University of Alabama coach Jay Seawell knows what to expect because he’s been here before.

In this case, here is the national championship match, which the Crimson Tide have reached for the fourth time since 2012. It lost the first time against Jordan Spieth and Texas, but came back to win back-to-back titles in 2013-14  — the second of which was against the team Alabama will be facing Wednesday afternoon, Oklahoma State.

The Crimson Tide won 4-1, in Hutchinson, Kansas.

This time Oklahoma State has the advantage of playing on its home course.

The top-seeded Cowboys have been considered the team to beat in college golf all season. Every player has a sub-par scoring average, with three who were ranked in the top 15 individually prior to the tournament with No. 4 Matthew Wolff, No. 5 Viktor Hovland and No. 14 Zach Bauchou.

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Alabama Crimson Tide: Men’s golf to play for national championship

The Alabama Crimson Tide will play for a national championship Wednesday afternoon as the men’s golf team faces Oklahoma State in the NCAA Finals. The Alabama Crimson Tide men’s golf team trounced Duke in the NCAA semi-finals Tuesday in Stillwater, OK. The Tide men won all five matches against the Blue Devils. Davis Shore won […]Alabama Crimson Tide: Men’s golf to play for national championship - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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10 college football QB battles that will shape 2018 season

The quarterback compeitition for the Tide has gotten a ton of attention, but keep an eye on some others throughout the game. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

No position on the football field has a greater impact than the quarterback. And as the 2018 season slowly approaches, several of the most respected college football teams have yet to identify which player will be leading the offense.

Interestingly, a handful of programs have a second option with previous starting experience. The incumbent No. 1 might end up being the backup.

Dozens more will have a quarterback battle in fall camp, but the result of these 10 competitions will shape the season.

Alabama Crimson Tide

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Michigan recruiting: Alabama CB commit Javier Morton considering Wolverines

Stay updated as Michigan rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings. Don’t miss the coverage from Michigan recruiting reporter Evan Petzold. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday through Thursday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Wolverines recruiting news.

Alabama CB commit Javier Morton calls Michigan ‘high priority’

Javier Morton thought his college future was set when he committed to Alabama on Dec. 1. But a conversation the 4-star cornerback from Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga., had with his coach recently could have shaken things up.

Michigan offered Morton on May 12, and he found out about the offer from coach Ron Gartrell.

“I’ve been receiving mail from them,” Morton said. “I called my coach and he told me they actually offered. My coach doesn’t want us getting all caught up in recruiting, so he just keeps some things to himself.”

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound defensive back has offers from 32 schools, including Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Florida, Florida State and Texas A&M.

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Alabama Football: These summer enrollees will make an ’18 impact

Alabama football has a larger group of summer enrollees this year. Check out five newcomers, plus one more who will push for significant playing time. Even if the calendar does not say so, it is summer in west Alabama. Summer workouts have begun for the 2018 Alabama football team. There are 17 summer-arriving players for […]Alabama Football: These summer enrollees will make an ’18 impact - Bama Hammer - Bama Hammer - An Alabama Crimson Tide Community - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
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Saban tired of taking heat for blocking transfers

SANDESTIN, Fla. - Alabama coach Nick Saban has made news in recent years for blocking his players from transferring within the SEC, and he says he doesn't understand why he's taken heat for doing so.

"I don't think it should be on me," Saban said.

Two years ago, Saban stood in the way of former defensive back Maurice Smith from transferring to Georgia. And this year, he's reportedly blocked offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy, who is interested in Auburn and Tennessee, according to al.com.

Alabama coach Nick Saban says the SEC's restrictions on transfers keep players from leaving programs at the first sign of adversity. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Under current SEC policy, players are unable to transfer within the conference without a waiver. If they choose to do so anyway and don't receive a waiver, they must sit out a season before regaining eligibility.

But not all coaches have enforced the rule. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, for instance, allowed former running back David Williams to transfer to Arkansas last offseason.

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