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Six Months On My Chest, Now It's Time To Bail...

...if by "six months" I mean "five years."

The Tuscaloosa News has several articles about the Alabama probation and it's quiet ending yesterday.

Tide's Time Served:

...when Denny Chimes rang at midnight, it marked an important milestone for the Crimson Tide football program, and its athletic department.

After living under a cloud of suspicions and controversy since it last won a national championship in 1992, both Alabama's probation and repeat-violator status with the National Collegiate Athletic Association expired.

For the first time in 15 years, the Crimson Tide has a clean slate.

Read on for a history/timeline of the dark days that got us to this point.

This is why Cecil Hurt should be the preferred sports columnist of all Bama fans:

In thinking about this column, my original intention was to tap once again into the deep wellspring of emotion about the probation. It had nothing to do with arguing about one particular side of the case. People who still care about it have long since passed the point of persuasion.


But in the process, I finally asked "what's the point?" Time is in the process of healing all wounds -- not without leaving a scar or two, but healing. The University of Alabama seems to be handling this in the right, low-key way, not treating the date as some sort of celebration, which it shouldn't be. Diligent compliance has been the watchword in the five-year period and that should continue on Feb. 2 and beyond, without discernible change.

The football program was rocked to its foundation, but it survived. There is now a new coach who has arrived with hurricane force and a burning intention to return UA to national prominence. Even the bureaucracy of the NCAA seems (although it would never, ever admit it) to have learned a few things. So what good would it do, I wondered, to tap into the old anger again?

Again, he's right.  No matter how you and I might feel about the NCAA's treatment of the Tide or the level of our indiscretions, there's no point in treating this like some sort of holiday (though if some rascals, if by "rascals" I mean "enterprising Bama fans looking for instant internet stardom," were to, I don't know, go roll Toomer's Corner or something, that would be hilarious.  I'm just saying...).  The past is just that, the past.  This program is in better shape than it's been since the end of the Gene Stallings era, and the excitement we all feel about the coming season is because of the fresh start we've been given with the hiring of Saban and the renewed focus and interest in returning Alabama to the top of the heap in college football.


Here's a "Where Are They Now?" list of the people involved in the whole affair.