Interim term features specialized courses "intensified" to fit into the shortened calendar. Lasting only three weeks, individual class sessions normally run for more than two hours per day. For some athletes it's a chance to get in a particular course needed for graduation, but several others chose to enroll instead of taking some time off in order to get a head start on learning the new offense.
"A lot of us were going home for Interim term," quarterback Brodie Croyle said last week. "But I'm pretty sure several of us are staying now. I know I'm staying."
Other than Ben Pollard and his weight room staff, NCAA rules prohibit on-the-field coaches from working directly with the players over the summer months. However players can practice together in voluntary workouts. And there is no limitation on the number of hours an athlete chooses to spend studying film on his own.
Besides Croyle, numerous other offensive players are already in town. The group includes receivers Antonio Carter, Triandos Luke, Dre Fulgham, Brandon Brooks and Tarry Givens; tight ends David Cavan, Donald Clarke and Ted Gryska; and offensive linemen Justin Smiley, Dennis Alexander, Atlas Herrion, Danny Martz, Matt Lomax, Von Ewing, J.B. Closner and Evan Mathis.
Besides extra time in the film room, Triandos Luke acknowledged a more practical reason for enrolling. "I needed the check to help pay my apartment rent," he said with a smile. Scholarship athletes can either stay in campus dorms or choose to be reimbursed for off-campus housing expenses, but they must be enrolled to collect. Virtually all athletes choose to live in apartments after their first or second year.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive backs Carlos Andrews, David Scott, Anthony Madison, Charles Jones and Ramzee Robinson are enrolled for Interim term. They're joined by linebackers Freddie Roach, Juke King and Juwan Garth; and defensive linemen Todd Bates, Antwan Odom, Gerritt Gordon and Nautyn McKay-Loescher.
Of course McKay-Loescher's enrollment is especially good news to Tide fans, as he now projects to be academically eligible this fall (assuming normal classroom progress this summer).
Very often athletes rehabbing injuries make it a point to stay enrolled in school. Living in Tuscaloosa means they have continuous access to the Tide's excellent training staff, and many get in several rehab sessions a day. Martz (knee), Carter (stress fracture), King (knee) and Mathis (stress fracture) are all working to rehab various injuries.
The Interim term will run for three weeks, with May 30th being the last day of class. The first summer term begins June 3rd and runs through July 5th. The second summer session runs from July 8th through August 8th. After taking a short vacation break, the great majority of the squad members are expected back for the first summer session.
Some freshmen will undoubtedly choose to enroll for the first session, but traditionally the second term is when most of the new signees will arrive. Many (if not all) would probably go ahead and enroll during the summer to get a jump on their college classes, but NCAA rules require them to pay their own way until classes begin in the fall.