"[Saban] said, 'Look, he didn't mean to do it. Nobody was hurt. We'll get another one,' " Carleton Tinker said. "That kind of makes you feel better." Carleton Tinker is worried that fans will blame his son. Carson Tinker is worried that fans will ostracize his father. Perhaps Alabama fans, who have been known to misapply their passion, will stop and think. In the meantime, the new trophy already has been ordered. "I told them, 'If you want to put me on the payroll, I can come down and work weekends. We'll work something out,' " Carleton Tinker said. The athletic department declined his offer. "Insurance," Carleton Tinker said, "is a good thing."
"I don't think he has any long-term issues," Saban said. "My message is, I don't really know for sure what happened, but if you value your future, everybody should learn from the lesson of, don't put yourself in those type of situations."
It was billed as a celebration of a national championship, but the White House event with President Barack Obama and the Alabama Crimson Tide Thursday was also a somber reflection on the lives lost to last year's tornado outbreak and how the tragedy shaped the team, the town of Tuscaloosa and the state. "They played as a team because of what they had endured as a team," Obama said on the South Lawn. "And so each victory was about more than getting to the title game -- it was about the lives of these players and coaches that they'd carried with them and what they meant to each other."
For the third year in a row, an Alabama gymnast has earned the NCAA's Elite 89 Award, and for the second year in a row, that gymnast was All-American Rachel Terry, who carries a perfect 4.0 GPA for her career The senior from Hoover, Ala., was presented with the award, which goes to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the final site for each of the NCAA's 89 championships, during Thursday's NCAA Championship Banquet. "I'm so proud of Rachel," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "A vault All-American as a freshman, she has had some physical difficulties throughout her career, but I feel like as she was going through those challenges, she maintained her focus in the gym and the classroom and for her to be able to close out her career by winning this award for the second time is very special."
Just like Dorothy and friends, the Tide already has visited the Emerald City once. The venue this weekend- the Arena at Gwinnett Center - is where the Southeastern Conference Championships were held last month. "They've laid the bricks," Patterson said of her team. "Now we've just got to finish it." Alabama finished second to top-ranked Florida at the SEC Championships despite defeating the Gators during the regular season. "I think maybe we held back a little bit at SECs," Priess said. "We may have been a little timid in the way we approached it and maybe we tried too hard to be perfect instead of just trying to be ourselves and do what we do best."
The second ranked Alabama softball team could not overcome a seven run deficit, as its late comeback bid fell short in a 7-4 loss to No. 13 Georgia on Thursday night at Jack Turner Stadium. Alabama falls to 40-4 overall and 17-3 in the Southeastern Conference, while Georgia improves to 35-10 overall and 13-7 SEC play. Jackie Traina suffered her first loss of the year, dropping to 26-1. The loss snaps a school-record 28 game-winning streak for the sophomore. Traina gave up seven runs, five of them earned, on six hits in six innings of work. She struck out seven Bulldogs. Alabama had eight hits in the game, while Georgia had six, but the Bulldogs were able to do the damage in the early innings, scoring all seven of their runs in the first two frames.
"Trent is a very special player," said Saban. "He has a really good, complete skill set to play running back. He's got size and he's powerful, but he's got some quickness and can make you miss. He's got really good speed for his size, he's a good receiver and a good pass blocker. "I think 'bruising back' would be an insult to all that he is, even though he does that, too, because he's really tough and physical."
Penn State has agreed to provide millions in payments and benefits to Joe Paterno's estate and family members under the late football coach's employment contract, although a family lawyer says the Paternos did not sign away their right to sue. The school turned over four checks on Thursday worth more than $3 million for bonuses that covered the season, bowl game and entire career, according to a university spokeswoman.
"He always tries to compete with us," said the 175-pound Carter. "He wants to be faster than the defensive backs. He does the 40 and he tries to beat us. He always thinks he's as fast as us. When we race, I win, but he's right there. It's not like I'm burning him. He's right behind me. He gets so mad. He's like, 'Oh my God, I had you.' He's competitive at everything. He always wants to win."