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Jumbo Package: Trump bungles Saban’s name, Tide begins mandatory workouts

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

President Trump Hosts College Football Champions The Alabama Crimson Tide At The White House Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, everyone. We’ll open with a little humor this morning, in case you missed it. Yesterday, a week after telling Alabama’s chancellor to “say hello to the coach”, President Trump bungled his name in a call supporting Tommy Tuberville.

“Really successful coach,” Trump said of Tuberville, who went 85-40 in 10 years with Auburn. “Beat Alabama, like six in a row, but we won’t even mention that.”

Then he turned to Alabama’s head coach, Nick Saban.

“As he said … because of that, maybe we got ‘em Lou Saban,” Trump said. “... And he’s great, Lou Saban, what a great job he’s done.”

Lou Saban was a longtime college and NFL head coach who died in 2009. He may have been distant cousins with the Alabama head coach, his widow Joyce said in his Associated Press obituary, but the families couldn’t make the connection with full certainty.

Nick Saban’s middle name is also Lou.

I just can’t see Alabama fans voting for that Barner. Guess we will see. In any case, this story was featured all over the place including the news section of USA Today and Newsweek. If Saban’s profile could get any higher, Trump has managed to push it there in the past few days.

The SEC directors met yesterday and decided nothing, which was expected.

“It is clear that current circumstances related to COVID-19 must improve and we will continue to closely monitor developments around the virus on a daily basis,” Sankey said. “In the coming weeks we will continue to meet regularly with campus leaders via videoconferences and gather relevant information while guided by medical advisors. We believe that late July will provide the best clarity for making the important decisions ahead of us.”

The athletic directors heard a report from members of the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force and discussed issues relevant to the current pre-season calendar and the approaching fall seasons of competition, including an update on current COVID-19 testing procedures.

At this point we wait and see. In the meantime, Alabama begins mandatory workouts today.

UA has not officially released numbers related to positive COVID-19 tests and continued that policy on Monday. A source with knowledge of the UA program told The News that “a large majority” of the squad was expected to participate but would not confirm whether that number would be 100 percent.

Published reports last month indicated eight or nine positive COVID-19 results among football team members at UA but statistical trends suggest that number would be higher at this time. UA also did not disclose if any of the earliest positive tests had received subsequent negatives on retesting.

We will keep you abreast of any news related to practice.

Looks like Derrick Henry will be playing on a one year deal this season.

People are going to have to tackle that beast when he has the extra motivation of a contract year? Have mercy.

Last, JT Daniels was granted immediate eligibility after transferring from USC to Georgia in late May, where he will now compete with fellow transfer Jamie Newman. Alex Kirshner reminds us of the crapshoot that are waiver requests.

You may remember that Luke Ford, who transferred from Georgia to Illinois, was denied a waiver and Cade Mays, who transferred from Georgia to Tennessee, is still waiting to hear from the NCAA on his case. Two of the acceptable reasons for requesting a waiver are inability to return to the current program or moving to help care for a sick family member. Mays wasn’t kicked off the team and I’m unaware of any sick family members other than his dad, who has a pending lawsuit against UGA after severing his finger at Sanford Stadium.

Still, attorney Tom Mars expressed confidence back in January when he said, “Of all the waiver cases I’ve been involved in, I’ve never seen anything quite like this one. For the sake of everyone who loves college football, I hope I never see another one.” Cade must be requesting one of these exceptional circumstance waivers.

In cases in which the student-athlete transferred because he or she is the victim of egregious behavior directly impacting his or her health, safety or well-being, the new school must continue to provide objective documentation of the behavior and how it impacts the health, safety or well-being of the student-athlete. In addition, the new school also must now provide a statement from the previous school’s athletics director explaining why the student-athlete indicated he or she is transferring and proof that the student-athlete is in good academic standing and meeting progress-toward-degree standards at the new school.

Previously in cases alleging egregious behavior, the new school had to provide objective documentation of the behavior and the previous school’s position on the waiver request.

It seems that Georgia will need to be at least somewhat cooperative if Mays is to be granted a waiver. Surely they wouldn’t spit on one player as he heads out the door after receiving a waiver in record time for an incoming player, right?


That’s about it for now. Have a great day.

Roll Tide.