30 Tide Athletes Earn Degrees Today

Included with the announcement that incoming freshman defensive tackle Darius Paige had been declared physically unable to participate in football at Alabama was the assurance that he would have the opportunity to continue as a student on (medical) scholarship.

To be honest, there were questions about the academic situation of Darius Paige before he landed at Alabama. There was controversy as he transferred prior to his senior season from Washington High School in Pensacola, Fla., to Foley High School. One of his former coaches said he had been enticed to Foley by the promise of academic help. As late as this summer there was a concern on whether Paige would be able to enroll at The University.

He did all that was asked of him and then faced the disappointment of the end of his football career (at least at Alabama, where the medical staff makes such decisions).

And some must wonder if Darius Paige would have any chance of continuing as a college student and earning a degree.

There will be a summer graduation ceremony at The University of Alabama today and there will be a role model for Paige. Few have had a more tortured journey than former Hoover High defensive line star Kerry Murphy. He signed with Alabama in 2007, but wasn't eligible and went to Hargrave Military Academy. After a year there, he signed with Bama again, but still wasn't eligible. He had to take more classes before joining the Crimson Tide in 2009.

Murphy suffered a knee injury in 2010 and was never able to play again. He stayed on scholarship, though.

Among the 13 Alabama football players who will earn degrees today is Kerry Murphy.

More than two dozen University of Alabama student-athletes have qualified for Saturday's summer commencement, including several who have completed work on postgraduate degrees.

Among the football players in addition to Murphy are Jalston Fowler, Harrison Jones, Arie Kouandjio, Austin Shepherd, Tana Patrick, and Brian Vogler. All-America performers Ashley Priess (gymnastics) and Jonathan Reid (track and field) are both set to earn degrees along with Academic All-Americas Antonia Foehse (women's tennis) and Jackey Branham (softball).

The 30 summer graduates will join the 104 Tide student-athletes who graduated following with the fall and spring semesters, pushing the athletics department's graduation tally at 134 for the 2012-13 academic year.

The complete list of summer graduates:

Aymara Albury, Track and Field

Jonathan Atchison, Football

Keon Blackledge, Men's Basketball

David Blalock, Football

Jackey Branham, Softball

Sophie Campise, Soccer

Melissa Day, Women's Tennis

Ricky Doverspike, Men's Tennis

Antonia Foehse, Women's Tennis

Cade Foster, Football

Jalston Fowler, Football

Kaneisha Horn, Women's Basketball

Kelly Johnson, Football

Harrison Jones, Football

Carison Kemei, Cross Country

Arie Kouandjio, Football

Whitney Larsen, Softball

Chad Lindsay, Football

Tyler Love, Football

Jessica Merritt, Women's Basketball

Leigh Moyer, Volleyball

Kerry Murphy, Football

Tana Patrick, Football

Meghan Perkins, Women's Basketball

Ashley Priess, Gymnastics

Jonathan Reid, Track and Field

Austin Shepherd, Football

Canella Tinker, Rowing

Brian Vogler, Football

Joe Ziegler, Swimming and Diving

BamaMag Top Stories