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Duncan, recruiting rules & more

Jerry Duncan will be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame June 3, reports Sure, Duncan was a football player at the University, but I’ll always remember him as the animated sideline reporter for the radio broadcasts.

One of the major ways Nick Saban communicated with recruits when he arrived at Alabama was via text messages. And now, the NCAA wants to ban the practice. The traditional football power, the Ivy League, proposed the ban. That makes sense; the conference is worthless and they want to make the rest of collegiate athletics just as worthless.

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Of course, I can see some benefit to recruits. It is bad enough to get phone calls, but add in text messages and life as a teenager can get crazy.

In the end, this legislation isn’t about teenagers, but about hurting the major collegiate powers. The NCAA creates more and more draconian rules every year. This is nothing new.

Roll Bama Roll has a very useful schedule up of what to expect and when to expect it. It also includes information on an autograph signings by past players at the Bryant Museum.

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What does the press think about the Internet? Some good advice in the column: “…you have to be careful where you get your information. No one believes the old ‘if it’s in the paper it must be true’ axiom anymore, and the same goes for the Internet.”

While information on the Internet or the newspaper can mislead, I find the Internet to be a strong reflection of the populace. In large measure, the Internet sites a person visits says a lot about them. I once frequented the forums for Alabama football, but free and open debate was squelched there. When this happened, I started spending more time at That community has flourished because it is a great place to talk about Alabama football—the good and the bad.

Now, I can also remember a great deal of turmoil and division on those boards during the waning days of the Shula regime. But no matter how hard Shula supporters tried to make critics out to be a minority, we now know Shula’s supporters were in the minority. Like Paul Finebaum said in his Tuesday column, the public has become timid in expressing its opinion. People won’t even tell pollsters the truth because they are afraid of condemnation:
Last October, of 1,468 readers participating in a poll in the Decatur Daily, 82 percent said they supported Mike Shula as head coach and felt he should be back for another year.

Two weeks later, an overwhelming majority of people polled by the Press-Register said the same thing.

Can you find any of these people today?

I didn’t believe either poll at the time based on my travels throughout the state. However, folks were afraid to say publicly — or even to a pollster — what they were thinking privately. Peer pressure? Blinded by being too close to the sun? Who knows?

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