Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram won’t be there because he will attend grandfather’s funeral
By Michael Casagrande
Special to the Ledger-Enquirer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama campus will be a busy place this afternoon.
Not only is it Fan Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium, but students will be moving into dorms including those in the shadows of the facility.
Gates open to the stadium at 2:30 p.m. for the open practice scheduled to start an hour later. The workout will run through 5:30 p.m. when the real madness begins.
Players and coaches will sign autographs on the field for 45 minutes with signatures limited to one per player per fan and no posed photographs will be allowed. Last year, a large number of fans waited on line for hours, but never get to the front of the autograph lines.
The wait for those not wishing to watch practice but looking for autographs opens at 2:30 p.m. at Gate 46. In case of poor weather, the autograph session will be moved to indoor practice facility next to Coleman Coliseum. The forecast on Weather.com is calling for isolated thunderstorms in Tuscaloosa with a heat index of 105 degrees.
One signature that won’t be available today belongs to Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Coach Nick Saban announced Friday that the running back will be in Flint, Mich., attending the funeral of his grandfather and isn’t expected back in time for the Fan Day festivities.
To alleviate parking issues near the stadium, perimeter lots near the softball and soccer fields will be open to Fan Day attendees.
There are a few sets of former high school teammates who reunited at Alabama. There likely isn’t a pairing closer than ex-Hoover (Ala.) High comrades Kerry Murphy and Josh Chapman.
The two share the nose guard position and plenty of jokes that span back to their prep days at the suburban Birmingham 6A powerhouse.
Their favorites involve sayings they heard from their famously outspoken coach Rush Propst, formerly at Eufaula.
The favorite: “Bar none,” Chapman said. “That was coaches’ favorite quote.”
Murphy is expected to share time behind Chapman in the position vacated by Terrence Cody.
Scalpers pump up Penn State game
The highly anticipated resumption of the Alabama-Penn State series is more than a month away, and scalpers’ prices already are reaching quadruple figures online.
The cheapest ticket on the ticket resale website Stubhub.com will set you back $250 to sit in the new south end zone upper deck. Lower-level seats near the 50 yard-line have a price tag of $1,350 a pop. Single-game prices listed on UA athletics’ website sets face value at $85 apiece for the 6 p.m. game on Sept. 11.
Iron Bowl tickets have even steeper prices on Stubhub. Two lower-level end zone seats are listed at $1,635 a piece on the resale website that has a link on UA’s Rolltide.com.