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Jumbo Package: Who is responsible for the SEC’s growing bad reputation and who is going to fix it?

It gets worse the more you look at it. And it’s well-deserved.

“I swear, it will be different this time. I’ve grown as a person. I can’t change the past. I have to fix myself to fix the future. I can’t make people’s opinions of me any better; just be a better man.”

Hugh Freeze sounds like a wifebeater in this interview. Only a metaphorical one though, as opposed to that actual sad-sack coward and notorious asshole in Oxford who beats up women.

The absolute state of this conference, man. If there was any doubt that Sankey made a full heel-turn for the greenbacks rather than for public perception, it has been dispelled in the last calendar year.

To those justifiable instances, add the unjustifiable attacks on Nick Saban and Nate Oats, and it’s pretty clear that the league has a reputation problem every bit as bad as the Bad Ole’ 90s, and in many ways far worse, far more deserved, and far more serious.

By those lights, Bruce Pearl’s coed barbecue party seems benign. And I don’t even know where to begin to fix the issues, except from stronger leadership and cleaning house.

Look, I’m not blaming him here.

We think of Billy Packer’s excellent broadcasting work, but did you know that he was instrumental in integrating the ACC? Maryland broke the color barrier on Tobacco Road, but Packer was the one who normalized signing black kids...and then turning them into stars.

This is a cool bit of history.

Alabama commit RJ Johnson has asked for a release from his NLI:

Combo guard R.J. Johnson, from Huntsville, Ala., is requesting a release of his Letter of Intent to The University of Alabama.

The No. 21 guard in the Class of 2023 committed to Alabama on Aug. 26, 2022.

Now, the Grissom High product is reopening his recruitment. He previously drew interest from the likes of Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State and Florida Atlantic — a program in this weekend’s Final Four.

Honestly, this may not be as big of a loss as it seems. Johnson is a short 3-star combo guard, and you can guarantee that the program is going to get bigger players at the position, both in actual size and in ability.

The Tide already lost one guard this offseason, with Nimari Burnett entering the portal. His remarks yesterday make it clear that there’s no issue with the team or the staff or the coaches. He loved it and agonized about the decision.

It’s solely about playing time. That’s fair.

I. Am. In. A. World. Offfffff. Shit.

Full Metal ‘Bammer.

On Wednesday, Saban did an exclusive interview with ESPN’s Heather Dinich. He had some choice words when describing the program’s offseason plan with Dinich.

“Oh, we’re Full Metal Jacket because we’re no doubt disappointed in the very things that you pointed out,” Saban said. “And I don’t disagree. As a coach, you’re always trying to get your team to play to their full potential, and I really don’t feel like maybe we got that done […] You search for reasons, why and how can you fix it? We have two new coordinators, some new energy, new enthusiasm, new ideas are all beneficial. Hopefully they’ll help us get these guys to play with a little bit more … discipline to be able to execute on a more consistent basis.”

Hark! — are those the dulcet tones of The Process I hear? Sing me those songs of discipline and accountability, sensei. Or at the least, the ability to make a tackle on the interior.

Let our 85 Private Pyles be reborn hard.

Why, yes, yes that very much does seem to sound like The Process returning to Alabama:

“Any time we don’t get in the national championship game, there’s a standard here that everybody sort of has an expectation for. We want our players to stay focused on what they need to do to be able to get there. Not the outcome, but what we have to do to get the outcome. I think everybody in the organization is trying to figure out, okay, how do we go about this in a way that’s help us get there with our players, our coaches and everybody in the organization.

“We have a high standard for what we want accomplish and what we want to be able to do and we need to get everybody to buy into that and understand the importance of doing the little things that will help them get to where they want to be and where we want to be.”

What will greatly facilitate that process of stopping a running quarterback (besides not being blocked in the back in front of two officials), is a slimmer, three-down Jaheim Oatis. And the big fella’ has shed a full hundy off his frame this offseason:

Shedding 100 pounds has Oatis feeling much better physically. From breathing better to moving faster, he’s seen improvements in all aspects of his game. His teammates noticed how his game elevated since losing the weight as well.

“Seeing him go through the process, work hard, and dedicate himself was very impressive,” said linebacker Chris Braswell. ”And obviously that does help open up lanes as far as pass rushing.”

How did he do it? Well, surprisingly, eating white rice and bread and fried chicken is not great for your beach body. Sure it’s probably tastier than boiled shrimp and steamed veg, but as I’m in no danger of being a multimillionaire one day with the right food choices, so hit me with those nugs. But for Oatis? Enjoy your hippie food and take out that anger on opposing teams.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the Tide needs leaders to emerge. Latham seems to be stepping into the role.

Saban has a way with euphemisms. And, this is about the closest and kindest I’ve ever heard the man say, “Have you thought about playing in the slot? You’re not going to be the starting quarterback.

On Jalen Milroe’s experience factor

“I think Jalen does have some experience, but it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. So, it’s a competition and both guys and both guys need to do the things they need to do to improve. Both guys have had a great attitude about doing it so far and we’re excited about what we can do to help them do that.”

Holy hell. This looks to be getting worse for TPD and the TusCo DA every week...

Turner Law Group issued subpoenas to various businesses near the shooting to obtain security camera footage from Jan. 14 – 15. This included Unique Bar, along with video from the City of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama.

However, the owner of Unique reportedly told defense attorneys that he could not comply with the subpoena because his equipment failed. Turner then points out that, prior to the equipment failure, the owner stated that law enforcement officers were able to secure video footage.

Prior to the preliminary hearing for Davis and Miles in February, the Turner Law Group on Feb. 13 contacted the District Attorney’s Office to request to view video from Unique Bar and the City of Tuscaloosa, who both stated their video footage was delivered to the DA’s Office prior to the preliminary hearing.

Turner says the District Attorney’s Office refused this request. Three days later, the Tuscaloosa law firm made a similar request regarding footage from the University of Alabama that had been delivered to the DA’s office. This request was also refused.

“Instead, the District Attorney’s Office stated that they would be removing this evidence out of its office and giving it to law enforcement,” the motion filed on Tuesday says.

It’s seems that they’re stonewalling here. The question is why? Worse, if accurate, it’s a violation of legal ethics and the Constitution to fail to turn over exculpatory evidence to the accused. The system only functions based on good faith — and a nuclear remedy. The remedy for that violation? It begins with a new trial and progresses all the way to dismissal for the defendant; bar complaints and potential loss of employment and licensure for the DA.

Obviously you take what lawyers say with a grain of salt, especially when they’re litigating their case in public, but this does not look good — nor does the inference of spoliation (destroyed evidence).


Is The Process coming back?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    It sounds like it, certainly.
    (358 votes)
  • 9%
    This is probably offseason cheerleading from Coach Saban.
    (67 votes)
  • 30%
    I’ll believe it when I see it
    (203 votes)
  • 6%
    No matter how much he wants it back, that is a program management style from a bygone time and place. This is the new normal.
    (47 votes)
675 votes total Vote Now