Day In Life Of Tide Player

A few years ago the NCAA decided that the media guides produced by colleges in all sports to assist reporters in covering those teams had become too big. That was unquestionably true. It stemmed from an NCAA decision of a few years earlier that prohibited a team from sending more than one publication to a prospect.

Once upon a time, Alabama (and many other colleges) produced both the media guide, which includes everything on the current team (players and coaches), records of past teams, etc., and a recruiting guide, which was developed for the prospect. When the NCAA said schools could send only one publication to prospects, the schools combined the recruiting information into the media guide, greatly expanding the publication.

The NCAA said the books were too large, and limited media guides to 208 pages, plus cover. That meant a school that had been to two bowl games and never won a national championship and had a dozen All-America players over the years was given the same amount of room as an Alabama, one of the top programs in college football history.

Now it is a joke to call the media guide anything but a recruiting publication. Fortunately, the NCAA permits schools to print an auxiliary publication (last year's Alabama supplement was 178 pages) that includes most of the records, etc. sportswriters need to cover the team. This publication is not available to the public, a measure designed to make sure prospects don't get it.

One can hardly blame Nick Saban (or any other coach) for directing that the "media guide" actually be a recruiting publication.

One feature of the 2008 Alabama Football Media Guide explains in six neatly designed, photo-filled pages the schedule of a Crimson Tide football player on a normal day of practice during the school year. The report:

6:15 a.m. – Wake up, shower, dress at Bryant Hall apartments (home of Bama freshmen and sophomore football players)

6:45 a.m. – Breakfast at Bryant Hall Sports Grille

8 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. – Classes

Noon – Grab a quick lunch and walk across the quad to the Alabama Football Complex

12:30 p.m. --Weight room

1:30 p.m. – Hang out in the players' lounge

2 p.m. – Pre-practice meetings

3 p.m. – dress out for practice

3:30-5:30 p.m. – Practice

5:30 p.m. – Training room treatment

6:30 p.m. – Dinner at Bryant Hall Sports Grille

7 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Tutoring and study hall at the Paul W. Bryant Academic Center

9 p.m. – Head back to the apartment and get ready to do it again.

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