TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Former University of Alabama linebacker Brandon Fanney has transferred to North Alabama.
Fanney started for the Tide last season but was suspended before spring practice. Alabama coach Nick Saban said last week Fanney was among several players dismissed for violating team rules.
Fanney was third on the team in tackles last season. He graduated over the weekend.
Fanney said he and Saban had met several times to discuss his future since the spring. He described it as a difference of opinion and that they parted on good terms. He said his goal remains the same at Division II UNA: Winning a national title.
Former Florida State running back Jamal Edwards also joined the Lions on Sunday.
Saban was visibly frustrated when he was questioned about his vote for All-SEC quarterback at the SEC Media Days. The controversy over who didn’t pick Tim Tebow for the first team was overblown, the Tide coach said.
He does, however, take his voting responsibilities seriously when it comes time to fill out the USA Today Coaches Poll ballot. Saban is one of the 59 head coaches on the voting panel for the poll that is factored into the Bowl Championship Series standings.
Alabama spokesman Jeff Purinton said Saban will be the only one doing the voting from the program. Coaches in the past have drawn criticism for having other staff members vote in other polls, a practice Steve Spurrier used with his All-SEC ballot. The South Carolina coach had his vote cast by his operations director, who voted for Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead, but that will not be the case for Saban’s top-25 ballot.
Purinton will compile results from other games around the nation to help Saban do his ranking. The coach will be the one phoning in his picks when his top-25 is filled out.
Tide on GameDay
The rumors have been confirmed: ESPN’s College GameDay will be kicking off the season with Alabama.
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game featuring the Tide and Virginia Tech on Sept. 5 will be the backdrop for the weekly preview of the nation’s top games. The show known for its wild, live background audience will be broadcast live from Atlanta’s Olympic Centennial Park at 10 a.m. EST. The GameDay crew was also in Atlanta last season before unranked Alabama’s upset of highly-touted Clemson to open the season.
With this season’s game featuring two top-10 teams, the selection of the 2009 kickoff game wasn’t a surprise. One of the show’s hosts, Lee Corso, let the show’s first location slip in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.
Alabama coordinators are made available to the media once a season (twice if it makes a bowl). Sunday’s Media Day was the annual Q&A session for offensive coordinator Jim McElwain and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.
McElwain took the opportunity to crack a few jokes while talking about the offense in his second season in charge. The native of Montana told a story about a recent trip back Polson, Mont., where he saw a fan walking down the street wearing a No. 8 (Julio Jones) Crimson Tide jersey.
“I, myself, would have got a No. 12,” he said. “To be honest with you, I am a Joe Namath fan.”
This year’s starting quarterback, Greg McElroy, will join the long list of Alabama quarterbacks to wear the No. 12.
Practice opened its second week with players putting on full pads for the first time. Now, they begin two-a-days. The first of three such dates is today as the Tide will put on the full pads for a 9:30 a.m. practice, followed by a 7:30 p.m. workout in helmets and shoulder pads.