Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Saban pleased with talks regarding agents


The early theme of the 2010 college football season has centered around agents and their dealings with student athletes. Alabama head coach Nick Saban voiced his disgust with agents at the SEC Media Days in July, when he went as far as to ask how such agents differed from pimps.

Saban’s own player, junior defensive end Marcel Dareus, is under investigation for attending an agent’s party. The NCAA, NFL and other organizations have since discussed way in which to limit agents’ involvement with student athletes.

“We had several conference calls,” Saban said. “We have gotten really good cooperation from every group. There have been and there will be more meetings with all these groups in the same room. I am very pleased with how people are approaching this, the attitude they have toward approaching it, and how aggressively everyone has tried to move to help solve this problem.”

Alabama has had many speakers come talk to the team during fall camp, and Saban said Wednesday that one of the speakers this year talked to the Crimson Tide about agents and gambling.

Holding on under pressure

The position of holder during field goals and extra points is a position often overlooked in college football. Last year, the Tide had a solid option at the position in senior punter P.J. Fitzgerald. However, Fitzgerald graduated, and the Tide must look to someone else to fill the void.

Saban noted that the position is usually handed to someone like the punter, as Fitzgerald was, because they can work together with the field goal unit, but Saban said that will not be the case for the Tide in this upcoming season.

“Because our punters are so young and they have enough on their plate just to do what they need to do, we will probably have holders come from some other part of our team,” he said.

Two players mentioned were redshirt freshman A.J. McCarron and senior Greg McElroy.

“Those two guys [McElroy and McCarron] are very good at it and they have a very good attitude about doing it,” Saban said.

McElroy says that he is confident that he can perform the job if he is called on to do so.

“I feel pretty good about that,” McElroy said. “I’ve been working on that for some time now. If need be I’ve put in the time and the practice with the snappers to be functional.”

Kelly Returns

The Tide has finally returned all inactive players today as redshirt freshman Kendall Kelly returned to practice after missing time due to heat issues and dizziness.

Kelly’s return means that the Tide can finally focus finding the best athletes for each package in the secondary without having to worry about a player not being able to practice, something that Saban stressed was important for the team.

“Without having everybody healthy on the field, it’s hard to figure out which best combination would be for us,” Saban said. “We are going to try to put the four best guys on the field during regular, the five best guys during nickel and the six best guys in the dime.”

Practice notes

– William Vlachos was named to the Remington Award watch list Thursday.

– Coming off of an ankle injury, freshman defensive back DeMarcus Milliner participated in a group that included defensive backs Mark Barron, Robert Lester and Dre Kirkpatrick when the team practiced out of the nickel package during the media viewing period Thursday.

– There were no Tide players withheld from practice due to injury Thursday.

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