Stabler Won't Be On 2008 Tide Broadcasts

If you haven't bought Alabama football tickets thinking you'd just listen to the games on radio, you might want to re-think that plan. The Crimson Tide Sports Network took a big hit when it was announced that Kenny Stabler will not be a part of the broadcast team this season. The announcement did not mention Stabler's recent arrest for driving while intoxicated, but is almost certainly the reason.

The announcement from the Crimson Tide Sports Network said that Ken Stabler has "asked to take a leave of absence" for the 2008 season.

Stabler has been the color analyst alongside play-by-play man Eli Gold for the past ten years. Stabler has been hugely popular with Alabama fans for his insight in the broadcasts and for his personality and wit.

Earlier this summer Stabler was arrested in Baldwin County and charged with driving while intoxicated. He has said he intends to fight the charge.

Broadcasters are chosen by Crimson Tide Sports Marketing, but the athletics department--meaning Athletics Director Mal Moore--has final approval.

An indication that Stabler's absence will be for only one year was the announcement that the network would not go outside to bring in a new announcer. Tom Roberts, longtime member of the Crimson Tide Sports Network crew, will take over Stabler's color analyst duties for the 2008 football season.

"We regret that Kenny will not be part of our broadcast team during the upcoming season, but accept and understand his decision," said Jim Carabin, general manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing, the multimedia rights holder for The University of Alabama athletics program and producer of the Crimson Tide Sports Network. "We are entirely supportive of Kenny and his family and feel that this is the right thing for them at this time."

"It is with much regret that I will not be part of Crimson Tide football broadcasts this coming year," Stabler said in the release, "but there are matters in my personal life that demand my full attention at this time. I will deeply miss being part of the Crimson Tide Sports Network team and the wonderful interaction that I always enjoy with the many Tide fans throughout the season."

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