Tennessee, why are you always so dumb?
Any fantasy sports contest amounts to "illegal gambling" in Tennessee, argues state Attorney General Herbert Slatery in a new opinion released Wednesday. The sweeping opinion covers all fantasy sports, the massive industry where contestants choose individual players from professional sports teams to compose their own virtual teams in a competition with other contestants. Although states across the country have grappled with the legality ofdailygame sites, where the entire contest is completed in the course of one day and generally involves monetary prizes, Slatery's opinion specifically applies to all fantasy sports.
The AG of Tennessee has declared all fantasy sports are illegal, not merely pay sites and daily fantasy sites (such as our sponsors at SBN.) The premise, you see, is that he believes there must always be an exchange of money rather than, you know, the 90% or so of fantasy sports that are free and involve no pecuniary exchange. Can't wait to see how this buffoon backpedals or doubles down on it when he has the facts.
Alabama rising redshirt freshman offensive guard Richie Petitbon sustained a torn ACL during the Crimson Tide's inaugural spring scrimmage Saturday, Alabama announced Tuesday. The injury was first reported by AL.com's Matt Zenitz.
We told you of Petibon's injury on Monday, and it seems the dire speculations were correct -- it is a major injury. He is expected to recover fully, and with modern surgery a return late in the season may not be out of the question. However, a medical redshirt (and later hardship waiver) seem much more likely for him. This is also a huge blow to the guard unit, which already had very little depth and no starting rotation.
Sydney Littlejohn (14-2) picked up two national honors when she was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday and the ESPNW Player of the Week. She is the fifth Alabama pitcher to receive the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association honor, and the first since Jaclyn Traina did in 2014.
Last year, Littlejohn went through a bit of a funk. This year, it seems to be Osorio's turn to struggle a bit. If both get rolling, this team is unhittable. Littlejohn, for instance, allowed one run in two victories over No. 1 Florida last weekend.
Laurent Bams was named the SEC Male Freshman Swimmer of the Year. He scored for the Crimson Tide in two individual events and two relays as the SEC Championships. He also scored in 100 freestyle at the NCAA Championships and took place in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. Connor Oslin was named the SEC Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The biology major has a 3.9 GPA and he successfully defended his SEC 100 backstroke title at the league championships earlier this season.
Alabama swimming has quietly become very good over the past 2-3 years. And, as we're becoming accustomed to, another UA competitor won the Scholar-Athlete of the year: Add that one to Retin Obasohan, Lauren Beers, Haylie McCleney, and Ryan Kelly's SA of the Year awards for 2015-2016.
Twenty years after the program started, Alabama softball notched its 1,000th win. It only needed five innings to do it in the 14-0 win over Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday. Alabama averages more than 50 wins a year. "There’s not many times when you’re in a program that’s 20 years old that you get to see history, and Team 20 was a part of history tonight," Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. "A thousand wins is a lot. They’re all a part of history now, and it’s going to be a long time before there’s 2,000 wins."
1000 wins in 20 years, 50 wins a season. That is amazingly consistent excellence.
Win some, lose some
There have been two player transfers from Alabama's basketball program this offseason. Now a change is coming to the coaching staff. Assistant Scott Pospichal is departing after one season on Avery Johnson's staff. AL.com can confirm former Arkansas and South Alabama head coach John Pelphrey is on campus interviewing for the job.
Bad news: Pops is out. Good news: Pelphrey, who did good work at South Alabama and is well-connected within the AAU circuit will likely take his place. Alabama hoops needs those relationships, and, more than ever, the team needs to make sure players that are recruited eventually wear a crimson jersey.
Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis dual-threat quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, a 2017 four-star prospect, is set to visit Alabama within the next couple of weeks, according to his Twitter account. Alabama recently offered the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder after former quarterback commit Jake Fromm flipped to Georgia.
Alabama has extended offers to two 4-star QBs for next season; they are the only players left uncommitted to whom Alabama has offered a schollie. Tua is a really interesting prospect: he's an ESPN 100 player (59) and the No. 2 dual-threat QB for the 2017 NSD class.
Saban does not seem enthusiastic about the possibility. He said, "I'm not naïve enough to not think that we're not in the entertainment business, so sometimes the fans have interest in certain things and maybe that's something we should consider. Me personally, I think you get a lot more out of spring practice when you just practice the things you want to practice to get ready for the fall and you don't have some game preparation that you have to get ready for because you're going to play somebody in spring. That's just my selfish coach coming out, all right? But I'm sure the fans would rather see that."
Two things are going on here. The first is that there is a proposal out there to let schools play an exhibition game rather than a spring intrasquad scrimmage. Saban is decidedly not on board (and I don't think most of the highly secretive, very competitive SEC would be either.) The second issue is a plea for fans to come out on the 16th for the A-Day game. And, since that is also our tweetup, I know you'll be there. Right?
"I'm really not even thinking that it has that much value," Saban said. "What would be a more interesting question for you to research -- and I can't answer this -- the teams that have done them, what value does it serve? How many players did they get? They had some players commit to them and some of those players decommitted, and I know they even wanted to drop some of those players when they found out they could get better players."
We love you, Coach. The use of the shadowy "they" to refer to Harbaugh dropping kids like crazy in the run-up to NSD only because the latter found better commits. He is right though; there is nothing really to be gained for an Alabama satellite camp -- most of the talent comes to Tuscaloosa or is already within easy travel distance. WEre Alabama to ever establish one, I'd love to see a camp on the Mid-Atlantic or Eastern Seaboard. There are a lot of great players in NC, VA, MD, PA and Jersey.