Alabama football, basketball and more: News and Tidbits, July 16

(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /
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Catch up on Alabama football, basketball and more, news and tidbits. A weekly update that lists the lesser known events of the past week.

SEC Media Days

Alabama football was the biggest story of SEC Media Days and every team got a large dose of attention.Perhaps the least reported story from SEC Media Days was the acknowledgment by Commissioner Greg Sankey of the four African-American players who integrated SEC football at the University of Kentucky.  2017 is the fiftieth anniversary of the milestone event that forever changed SEC football.

Perhaps the least reported story from SEC Media Days was the acknowledgment by Commissioner Greg Sankey of the four African-American players who integrated SEC football at the University of Kentucky.  2017 is the fiftieth anniversary of the milestone event that forever changed SEC football.

The four African-American players on the 1967 Kentucky team were Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg. Page died before the 1967 season began from complications caused by a preseason practice injury. All four men will be honored at the 2017 SEC Championship game. The photo below shows a new statue in Lexington honoring the four players.

As an aside to this story, check out our recent post about Paul Bryant trying to integrate Kentucky football in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.

Troubles Mount for Ole Miss

NCAA violations and investigations are always serious matters. We wrote about some bad turns for Ole Miss this week as football boosters try to hide their identity, Ole Miss boosters and Hugh Freeze.

Speaking of the bad week for Ole Miss, we think the video from the tweet below is a good fit.

Alabama Football

One of the best college football analysts is Cole Cubelic who will be on the sidelines for ESPN this fall. It is impossible to completely forgive Cubelic for having been an Auburn Tiger. Still, as a former offensive lineman, he knows the game well and does a good job explaining it.

The video below is his response to which SEC team has the most underrated 2017 offensive line.

2017 College Football Award Watchlists

So far the watch lists for the Bednarik,  Maxwell, Mackey, Rimington, Groza, Guy, Nagurski, Outland and Thorpe awards have been announced. Alabama football has players named to every watch list except the Groza Award for placekickers.

Mackey Award – Best Tight End

Hale Hentges

Maxwell Award – Player of the Year

Calvin Ridley

Bo Scarbrough

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Jalen Hurts

Bednarik – Defensive Player of the Year

Da’Ron Payne

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Rimington – Best Center

Brad Bozeman

Ray Guy – Best Punter

JK Scott

Nagurski – Defensive Player of the Year

Da’Ron Payne

Rashaan Evans

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Ronnie Harrison

Outland – Best Interior Lineman

Da’Ron Payne

Brad Bozeman

Jonah Williams

Jim Thorpe – Best Defensive Back

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Ronnie Harrison

For Alabama football players, Minkah Fitzpatrick leads the way on four preseason watch lists. In the coming week the watch lists for Butkus, Biletnikoff, Wuerffel, O’Brien, Walker and Camp awards will be announced.

Alabama Basketball

Avery Johnson has finalized the Tide’s out of conference schedule and it is filled with challenge. In one November – December, less than three weeks run, the Tide will play (two of) BYU, Minnesota or U Mass and Louisiana Tech, UCF and Arizona. Later non-SEC games include Texas and Oklahoma. The Tide will open the season against Memphis.

Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona made the NCAA field last season and BYU was in the NIT. Avery’s young team will need 9-10 wins out the 13 non-conference games to boost NCAA tournament hopes. Picking up a win against Texas, Oklahoma or Arizona would be a big benefit to a NCAA bid.

A little extra

Here is a closing image from one of our favorite plays by one of our favorite players in Alabama football history.

A detailed breakdown of Rashad Johnson’s football career can be found in Seven Tide stars who were Zero-Star recruits.

Check back with us again next Sunday for all the latest on Crimson Tide stuff. Until then RTR Forever!