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The Jumbo Package | 06.27.14

Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

Kevin C. Cox



Seriously, folks. This part of the offseason is absolutely brutal. Not much news out there at all, but I've thrown together what I could find.  If you come across anything out there, feel free to share in the comments.  Have a good weekend, and go USA!

Marcell Dareus headed toward pretrial intervention program for spice-possession charge |

The former Alabama standout was stopped by a State Trooper for speeding on Interstate 20 in Cleburne County. He was subsequently charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Alabama Department of Public Safety said the substance was "spice," or synthetic cannabis.

"We made an application for that pretrial intervention program in Calhoun County," Dareus' attorney, Rod Giddens of Sylacauga, said on Thursday afternoon, "and we go before a judge sometime in the next 30 days. I think he's going to be admitted into the program, accepted into it. ...

O'Bannon team calls NCAA a 'cartel,' while NCAA defends business model - College Football -

Throughout the day, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, witnesses and attorneys debated the meanings of key economic terms. "Damages", "injury", "market", "cartel", and "joint venture" all sparked frequent interruption and looks of bewilderment. Even the introduction of dictionary definitions failed to generate consensus.

The day ended with NCAA attorney Greg Curtner stunning reporters outside the federal courthouse by calling the NCAA a cartel. That’s right, a cartel. Don’t read too much into the remark, at least not yet. Curtner also said the NCAA "is a cartel that does good things as opposed to a cartel that does bad things." It was a fitting way to end a day where no key term had clear meaning.


Sen. John McCain worries about competitiveness in college sports, weighs in on Redskins controversy |

"I worry a little bit about some of the professionalism that is in college football particularly," McCain said.

He mentioned the effort to form a union among collegiate athletes, while mistakenly referring to the Northwestern case by saying it involved the University of Illinois.

"Obviously some legal experts told them they had something they might be able to succeed in court and yet I worry about the competitiveness of some of the smaller schools and their ability to attract athletes the caliber that we now see at the highest level," McCain said. "I also worry when you and I can probably predict the top four college football teams in the country before the season starts. There is a certain, shall I say, advantage, that some schools have over the rest of them."

A former wrestler at the Naval Academy, McCain said he's nostalgic for the days of the service academies' dominance.

"And the role that you play, in my view, is to blow the whistle on the egregious aspects of it. Is it really an amateur sport when the coach makes about $10 million when you count everything? Let's just call it what it is."


It's amazing how easily "I also worry when you and I can probably predict the top four college football teams in the country before the season starts" translates into, "Gee, I wish the team I have an emotional attachment to was a perennial contender."