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SEC Pledges $500,000 To University Of Alabama

Stop the conspiracy theories before they start.  Stop the moaning.  And if you’re tempted to say, “I bet if that were our school, the SEC wouldn’t do anything,” please put a sock in it.

The Southeastern Conference — in a very good move — has pledged $500,000 to help tornado victims at the University of Alabama.  The contribution will help assist students, faculty and staff who were displaced or injured by the recent devastating storms in Tuscaloosa.

The SEC, of course, is made up of all 12 member institutions.  This pledge is basically a way for the other 11 schools to extend aid — additional aid in many cases — to UA.  University of Florida president Bernie Machen (for instance) said that while SEC rivals “compete fiercely in athletics, we also support each other fiercely in times of need.”

Commissioner Mike Slive visited Tuscaloosa on Sunday and had this to say: “I’ve hear a lot of people say words don’t describe what happened, and words don’t describe it.  The devastation is so complete that in a sense it’s mind-numbing.  You keep seeing it and it’s almost as if your eyes are trying to send a message to your mind that this is really what you’re seeing.”

“There was this sens that this is very difficult and tragic, but it was just a matter of time before people were going to rebuild,” Slive said.  It’s part of the South.  No matter what other issues we have, the fundamental goodness of us is manifested.”

For those of you believe President Obama was born on Mars, that Osama bin Laden is alive and living with Elvis and Jim Morrison, and that Mike Slive is solely responsible for cutting a league check to Bama ’cause he likes ‘em, kindly put the foil hat back on your head and step away from the various messageboards out there.

The schools of the Southeastern Conference are aiding one of their own.  And it’s an excellent decision.

In other tornado-related news:

ESPN’s Rece Davis has been in Tuscaloosa working on a report that will air on Sunday’s “SportsCenter.”  Davis is an Alabama native and grad.  In 1974 he saw his own childhood home destroyed in a twister outbreak.

Last night at a Crimson Caravan tour stop, Nick Saban thanked a group of Tide fans for their help in the recovery process.  “It’s the most devastating thing I’ve seen in my life,” the coach said.  As for the SEC’s pledge of a half-million dollars, Saban sounded the same note as Machen and Slive: “It shows the quality of the league.  I know we compete against each (other), but it’s not about which school you root for.  The great schools in our league work together.”

Saban has said that he’s trying to help his own players from a mental standpoint.  “A lot of our players are affected by this psychologically in a little different way.  We’ve set up a kind of medical center for our guys in the training room so that if they have psychological issue with some of the things they’ve encountered or they’ve seen, or tried to help with, that they can get the help they need.”

Meanwhile, the city of Tuscaloosa is already trying to set new construction standards so poorly built homes and businesses don’t replace those that were destroyed by the storms.


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