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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Serving the University of Alabama since 1894
Vol. 119, Issue 62
NEWS | PLEDGESHIP
Pledgeship’s end affects each fraternity differently Result, reactions vary from house to house By Ashley Tripp Staff Reporter It’s been more than a month since Assistant Dean of Students Lowell Davis announced the termination of pledgeship activities to Interfraternity Council presidents. “All investigations have been
completed and appropriate action has been taken,” Tim Hebson, dean of students, said. “No chapters are still suspended. All greek organizations can recruit new members in the spring.” Since that day on Oct. 18, pledges have shed their pledge gear and have blended in with the active fraternity members across campus. For those outside the fraternities, the change in dress has left it difficult to tell if this year’s pledges
have been initiated. Jacob Adrian, former president of the Sigma Pi fraternity, said his new members have not yet been initiated. “They were made neophytes immediately following the cancellation of pledgeship, which means they basically hold all the rights of members, but have not yet been initiated,” he said. “They will be initiated as soon as we receive their grades, assuming they are satisfactory.”
This process was a decision Sigma Pi’s Executive Committee and Nationals reached together and made in an effort to maintain its scholastic standards, Adrian said. “Our new members have continued to integrate themselves into the fraternity, and while this process may be occurring somewhat slower than normal, it has given them the opportunity to further acclimate themselves to our organization after the pledge period was cut
short,” he said. Adrian said he doesn’t foresee the future of Sigma Pi being greatly affected by the administration’s decision. “We were fortunate enough to have a quality group of young men that were committed to learning about what our organization has to offer, and growing as individuals despite the premature end of their pledge period,” Adrian said. “Rush is a constantly evolving process, and regardless of this
situation we will continue to seek out quality individuals to add to our organization.” Alex Worley, a senior majoring in marketing and secretary of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, said ATO’s most recent pledges have been neophyted until their first semester grades are final because its bylaws require that any new member hold a 2.6 GPA to gain membership.
SEE PLEDGESHIP PAGE 2
NEWS | GREEK LIFE SPORTS | BASKETBALL
6-0: Tide topples Lamar Ejection of head coach leads to Bama victory
Greek Excellence Banquet honors chapters, members
By Marquavius Burnett Sports Editor
CW | Jingyu Wan
Retin Obasohan shoots from outside the paint, an area in which the Tide struggled in its last season.
Rodney Cooper scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out three assists off the bench to lead Alabama men’s basketball team to a 75-47 victory over Lamar (1-6) on Tuesday. Cooper bounced back after missing the last game with shoulder tendinitis to carry the Tide, who were without leading scorer Trevor Releford (flu-like symptoms) and their lone senior Andrew Steele (groin injury). “His perimeter shot wasn’t falling, but he was really active,” head coach Anthony Grant said of Cooper’s play. “He did a great job of getting to the offensive glass, was really active in the press and made some great effort plays. He impacted the game in a lot of ways and it’s certainly great to have him back on the floor.” Freshman guard Retin Obasohan started in Releford’s place, scoring a career-high 13 points and getting three steals while sophomore guard Levi Randolph had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. The game was close at halftime with Alabama leading 36-27. But it all changed at the 17:23 mark in the second half when Lamar head coach Pat Knight, son of legendary coach Bob Knight, was ejected after receiving his second technical for arguing with the officials. SEE BASKETBALL PAGE 2
CW | Austin Bigoney
Alpha Chi Omega President Susan Speaker accepts the Robert E. Witt Cup on behalf of her sorority.
Kat Gillan, the director of Greek Affairs, said that in order to receive an award, the nominee must apply, and then a committee of three or four staff memBy Madison Roberts bers rate the applications and Staff Reporter choose a winner. Award winners The University of Alabama included chapters and members Office of Greek Affairs recog- in all three sections of the greek nized greek chapters and their community – the Interfraternity members for achievements Council, the Alabama Panhellenic in academics, service, leader- Society and the National Panship and involvement at the Hellenic Association. 2012 Greek Excellence Awards SEE GREEK EXCELLENCE PAGE 2 Banquet on Nov. 27.
Witt, Hebson award leaders in community
CULTURE | SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Decades later, Hilaritas still 1 of Tuscaloosa’s holiday traditions Current, classic songs to be featured Friday By Lauren Carlton Contributing Writer The University of Alabama’s School of Music is kicking off the holiday season this weekend with Hilaritas, an annual holiday concert put on by the University Singers under the direction of John Ratledge and the Alabama Jazz Ensemble under the direction er • Plea s
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of Christopher Kozak. Hilaritas is a Greek word that translates loosely to “live joyfully and be who you are.” It has been a Tuscaloosa holiday staple ever since its first performance in 1969. Now, 43 years later, Hilaritas is a sentimental and cherished holiday tradition for its long-time loyal audiences. “They’re always enthusiastic,” said Ratledge, director of Singers as well as choral activities at the University. “Some people have been
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coming to Hilaritas for 30 plus years. It’s a big part of their holiday traditions.” The music of Hilaritas is a mix of classical and contemporary with lots of popular holiday songs. Singers and the Jazz Ensemble present pieces individually as well as together. Ratledge and Kozak, the director of jazz studies at the University, split conducting duties throughout the concert.
SEE HILARITAS PAGE 2 Performers dress up for annual Hilaritas concert.
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made sure I earned the second one. I got my money’s worth.” Knight said his wife called to make sure he was OK, and he talked to his dad, Bob, and a BASKETBALL FROM PAGE 1 buddy of his from Panama City “I didn’t earn the first one,” during the final 17 minutes of the Knight said. “I earned the sec- game. ond one. With the physical play, While Knight was in the lockcalls need to be called. Like I said, er room, his team fell apart. The I didn’t earn the first one, but I Tide went on a 22-6 run, putting
the game away. The Tide dominated inside, outscoring the Cardinals 34-22 in the paint. Alabama also scored 20 points from turnovers, outrebounded Lamar 40-33 and got 19 second chance points. Alabama was up by as much as 30 at one point, with walk-on Dakota Slaughter going on a 10-2 run by himself. Slaughter
finished with 10 points in 10 minutes, giving Alabama a needed boost off the bench. “He brings it every single day in practice and gives us a chance to get better,” Grant said. “He’s a guy our team trusts and every players believes in his ability. I’m very happy for him.” Alabama returns to action this Saturday, Dec. 1, against
Cincinnati in the SEC-Big East Challenge in Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, looking to improve on its 6-0 start. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT and will be televised by ESPN2 with the radio broadcast available through the Crimson Tide Sports Network. The Tide will return home Wednesday, Dec. 5, to face Dayton with tip-off set for 8 p.m.
“It’s a tremendous honor. I am very blessed to be in this position. I have had great advisors, a great University team and great members of my chapter to get me to this point, and I can’t thank them enough,” Holder said. Holder also won the Outstanding IFC President award for his leadership of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Among the other awards presented were councilendowed scholarships and awards, chapter-endowed scholarships and awards, chapter excellence awards,
greek excellence awards and the Robert E. Witt Cup. Caitlin Keats, a sophomore majoring in public relations and marketing, won the Frances Pickens Lewis Endowed Scholarship as part of the chapter-endowed scholarship portion of the night. “I feel great,” Keats said. “It’s good to be recognized by the greek community. Right now, I am an academic assistant for DZ, and hopefully I will be scholarship chair right after elections. I’m hoping this will help me out, and I’m just really glad to be more
involved.” Alpha Chi Omega sorority was presented with both the Most Outstanding Panhellenic Chapter Award and the 2012 Dr. Robert E. Witt cup. Gillan said the cup is an annual award given to a chapter that exemplifies the ideals and values of The University of Alabama’s greek community. Sigma Phi Epsilon, a fraternity that returned to campus in 2010, took home five awards at the end of the night, including the Outstanding Scholarship Aw a r d , Outstanding Co m m u n i ty R e l at i o n s ,
Outstanding Educational Programming, Outstanding Risk Management and the 2012 Most Outstanding IFC Chapter Award. “At first it’s pretty overwhelming to think about since we have only been on campus a few years,” Will Menas, a sophomore majoring in political science, said. “I’m really proud of all the hard work my brothers and I have demonstrated so far, and these awards let us know we’re doing something right and moving in the right direction.”
the fun and bonding with their pledge classes that resulted from hardships and traditional events,” Worley said. Worley said although the pressures and responsibilities of his position as secretary were challenging during the termination, most of the pressure came upon his president and pledge trainer. “The rest of the executive committee and myself did our best to help suggest and support those two to comply with university’s decision without taking anything away from our pledgeship process,” Worley said. Worley said he wants to move ahead and focus on growing and pushing ATO to new heights. “I don’t think anyone was happy about the termination, but with the amount of issues that had arisen throughout the fall semester, you have to respect Dean Hebson’s decision to ultimately protect the longevity of greek life on our campus,” Worley said. Adam Sherburne, a former pledge trainer for a fraternity he declined to identify for publication, said his new members were
initiated last Sunday and their pledgeship was probably the easiest ever at the University. “The new generation of students want to have everything given to them on a silver platter and if they don’t get their way they will either call their moms, the hazing hotline, or Greek Affairs,” Sherburne said. “I was infuriated with the suspension due to the fact that much worse things had happened in years past, yet pledgeship still went on because they were dealt with internally.” Sherburne said if men want to be in a fraternity, they should know what they’re getting themselves into. “If you do want to be in a fraternity, then shut your mouth, go through it like everyone else has in the past and don’t go crying to mommy when something bad happens,” Sherburne said. “Everyone before you has done the same, if not worse.” Sherburne said with the exit of Guy Bailey, he doesn’t know what to expect for future pledgeship. “I have been at UA for four
years and there has never been a problem like this,” Sherburne said. “Most if not all hazing will be cut out and it will be a different experience.” JJ Butler, a senior majoring in dance and a member of Lambda Sigma Phi fraternity, said he thought it was unnecessary for everyone to pay the price for the incidents that occurred in the fraternities investigated. “UA has never had a problem with our fraternity or our pledgeship process,” Butler said. “The fact that we have to suffer under the acts of other fraternity pledgeships is a little unfair.” Butler said the new members took it upon themselves to challenge one another to finish their journey through pledgeship. “Our pledges this semester have been initiated, and they more than well deserve it,” Butler said. “They more than proved to the active brothers that they were here to further the fraternity’s future with a God-centered focus. This is where our fraternity is headed, and no one is going to stop that.”
Looking back on his pledgeship, Butler said the process for LSP has grown greatly. “Since my pledgeship back in 2009, we have taken the characterbuilding events and shaped to be more focused around brotherhood bonding, sharing life stories and challenging one another spiritually,” Butler said. “By doing this, our Christian values have been greatly strengthened, and have helped the active brothers home in on the guys that our fraternity needs to attract.” Aaron Carter, a freshman in the Lambda Sigma Phi pledge class, said he was disappointed when pledgeship was suspended. “I found myself growing more during pledgeship than I had in any previous time of my life,” Carter said. “I was being pushed to be my best, both in Christian and fraternal ideals, and joyfully accepted the challenge. I enjoyed the tough road that was pledgeship and was proud to earn, as opposed to simply be given, the title of a brother in Lambda Sigma Phi.”
orchestra members. Johnny Mok, a sophomore majoring in cello performance, is an orchestra member who will play with the Jazz Ensemble in his second Hilaritas this weekend. “My favorite part of Hilaritas is really the joy of being able to play Christmas music,” Mok said. In addition to musical performances, the audience will get to see a holiday spectacle onstage. Singers split into individual quartets and pick a holiday theme to decorate their platform and themselves. Themes in the past have included a Griswold family
Christmas, the other reindeer, Alvin and the Chipmunks, a Harry Potter Christmas and more. Instrumentalists also dress up in costumes and line their music stands with lights and garland. Mok said his cello section is thinking about a summer elf theme this year. The performers take the decorations just as seriously as the music; some members start brainstorming as early as September. “Some people are so secretive about it,” said Katie Aldrup, a senior majoring in vocal performance and a member of University Singers.
Aldrup will be performing in her final Hilaritas this year. She said seeing everyone’s costumes and creativity along in addition to singing with the Jazz Band has been the best part of her Hilaritas experiences. This year she looks at the concert with mixed emotions. “It’s bittersweet,” Aldrup said. “It’s been so fun and I’ll be sad when I can’t do it anymore.” Ratledge said he is excited to see what the performers come up with this year, especially since this will be the first Hilaritas for a large portion of the ensemble. “The best part for me is
watching the students,” he said. “The themes are always interesting and they all really enjoy it. This year is unique in that about 70 percent of the choir is new. Usually it’s the other way around with 70 percent of the choir being old. We are going to have trouble fitting everyone on stage the way we usually do, but it’s a good problem to have.” Hilaritas will be performed Friday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. in the Concert Hall of Moody Music Building. Ticket prices are $15 and $7 for seniors and students. Tickets go quickly and can be purchased at uamusic.
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Alabama pulls away late to defeat Lamar
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ADVERTISING Will DeShazo 348-8995 Advertising Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Tori Hall Territory Manager 348-2598 Classified Manager 348-7355 Coleman Richards Special Projects Manager email@example.com Natalie Selman 348-8042 Creative Services Manager Robert Clark 348-8742 Emily Diab 348-8054 Chloe Ledet 348-6153 Keenan Madden 348-2670 John Wolfrom 348-6875 Will Whitlock 348-8735 Amy Metzler firstname.lastname@example.org Jake Morrow email@example.com The Crimson White is the community newspaper of The University of Alabama. The Crimson White is an editorially free newspaper produced by students. The University of Alabama cannot influence editorial decisions and editorial opinions are those of the editorial board and do not represent the official opinions of the University. Advertising offices of The Crimson White are on the first floor, Student Publications Building, 923 University Blvd. The advertising mailing address is P.O. Box 2389, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403-2389. The Crimson White (USPS 138020) is published four times weekly when classes are in session during Fall and Spring Semester except for the Monday after Spring Break and the Monday after Thanksgiving, and once a week when school is in session for the summer. Marked calendar provided. The Crimson White is provided for free up to three issues. Any other papers are $1.00. The subscription rate for The Crimson White is $125 per year. Checks should be made payable to The University of Alabama and sent to: The Crimson White Subscription Department, P.O. Box 2389, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403-2389. The Crimson White is entered as periodical postage at Tuscaloosa, AL 35401. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Crimson White, P.O. Box 2389, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403-2389. All material contained herein, except advertising or where indicated otherwise, is Copyright © 2012 by The Crimson White and protected under the “Work Made for Hire” and “Periodical Publication” categories of the U.S. copyright laws. Material herein may not be reprinted without the expressed, written permission of The Crimson White.
Greek values praised at awards ceremony GREEK EXCELLENCE FROM PAGE 1 As part of these awards, Tim Hebson, the dean of students, presented Stewart Holder, a senior majoring in marketing, with the Dr. Timothy S. Hebson IFC Man of the Year award. Gillan said this award is presented to the Interfraternity Council member who most exemplifies the spirit of the greek community at the University.
Some call hazing punishiment ‘unfair’ PLEDGESHIP FROM PAGE 1 “We do not feel the termination created a negative atmosphere in the fraternity, but I think any initiated member of any fraternity feels that each successive pledgeship should reflect similarities to their own, like traditional events or the length at which they participated in pledgeship,” Worley said. Worley said even though the pledges would have less involvement due to pledgeship ending early, ATO’s initiation requirements still applied. “We would not initiate any member if they did not meet our qualifications and if we did not have trust in them to carry on and lead the fraternity in a positive direction in the future,” Worley said. Looking back on his freshman year, Worley said he hates the fact the pledges have less to reflect on. “I think most people remember
Hilaritas tradition to show Nov. 30, Dec. 2 HILARITAS FROM PAGE 1 In order to keep the program fresh, pieces are rotated in and out every year. For singers, that means this year will feature two new arrangements of “Jingle Bells” and “White Christmas.” The opening and finale medleys were arranged by an Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Steve Sample during his time at the University. The Jazz Ensemble is comprised of jazz band and
NEWS OPINION CULTURE SPORTS
Page 3 Editor | Melissa Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday, November 28, 2012
UA leaves attendance policies up to departments By Adrienne Burch Staff Reporter Freshman Elizabeth Cook walks into her 8 a.m. chemistry class on a Friday morning to find about 20 percent of her classmates scattered across a barren auditorium. Cook, a chemical engineering major, said her Chemistry 101 professor does not take attendance for lectures, which results in many students skipping class. “I don’t attend that class as much as I should, but whenever I do go, only 30 or so people out of a class of 150 are there,” she said. “The least number of people show up on Fridays, no doubt due to ‘Thirsty Thursday’ the night before.”
The University of Alabama does not implement a schoolwide attendance policy, thus allowing departments or individual professors to craft their own. These policies can often determine if students choose to attend class or not, which could in turn affect a student’s grades as studies have repeatedly found strong correlations between class attendance and grades. Shane Street, assistant professor of chemistry, said faculty in the chemistry department has been able to prove that requiring attendance leads to better overall performance. “Members of our faculty have shown repeatedly by analysis of class data that absences correlate strongly with poor
performance in coursework,” Street said. However, Street said he chooses not to require attendance for his lecture sections. “I inform students of the demonstrable fact that students who attend lectures consistently tend to do better,” he said. “But college students are adults and in my opinion they can and should decide for themselves whether to attend a lecture.” There are departments across campus that choose to utilize strict attendance policies. Brian Elmore, a junior majoring in secondary education history, cannot miss his business statistics course more than four times. Each additional absence will subtract two points off his
final grade. “This sounds really strict, but I think this policy gives good incentive to be punctual and professional,” Elmore said. “This class has forced me to learn more by being in class every day.” Elmore said he thinks the strict policies place an emphasis on being professional, which includes being on time. “These professors are trying to instill good habits in the students before they get out in the ‘real world’,” he said. “Students often take a bad outlook on attendance policies without realizing they will really help them out in the long run.” Cook said she also takes classes that have a strict policy. Attendance is 30 percent of her final grade in her Chemical
Engineering 125 course, which meets 15 times throughout the semester. So, missing one class is a two point deduction on a student’s overall grade. “It definitely causes people to show up to class more because of the threat of point loss if they miss,” she said. She said her professor does offer makeup assignments for excused absences, but this requires documentation of a sickness or death in the family. Cook has to write two 400-word essays to make up for two of her excused absences. Official documentation is often required by professors across campus for excused absence approval. The foreign language department implements some of the strictest policies, only allowing three absences before it affects a
student’s grade significantly. Connie Janiga-Perkins, assistant professor of Spanish, said attendance is required in the Spanish department because inclass practice is essential when learning something like a second language. “Students are acquiring and developing skills and this can only be done with regular practice,” Janiga-Perkins said. “It is a bit like dancing. You have to dance to learn.” Street said he understands there are a wide variety of opinions on the matter of attendance policies even within his own department. “My opinions are my own,” he said. “But I don’t think (an attendance policy) as an improvement trumps individual responsibility and decision-making.”
Off-campus Housing Fair gives students more options By Krystina Pederson Contributing Writer
Job Fair December 6th From 11AM-4PM
2128 University Blvd. (Across from Moe’s BBQ)
Take your NEWS with you.
The University of Alabama will host the final off-campus housing fair for the fall semester in the Ferguson Center on Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Housing and Residential Communities sent out an email Nov. 26, promoting the fair and explaining deadlines associated with applications for on-campus housing, priority status and the idea that housing applicants will most likely exceed available space. According to the email, on-campus housing is not a guarantee. “This is a great opportunity to learn about the many housing
options in the Tuscaloosa community,” HRC said in an emailed statement to the student body. More than 25 off-campus property representatives will be on campus to inform students about upcoming deals, rates and amenities. According to a survey conducted by the University, offcampus living prices average about $615 to $790 a person per person. “It’s nice being able to have an escape from the college life, and [off-campus living is] a lot cheaper,” Frances Richardson, sophomore majoring in telecommunication and film, said. U.S. News and World Report found in 2011 that at The University of Alabama, 27.8
percent of students live in college-owned, -operated or -affiliated housing, and 72.2 percent of students live off-campus. The HRC website also offers several resources, such as tenant rights handbooks, moving guides and lease information to help students with off-campus living.
IF YOU GO... • What: Off-Campus Housing Fair • When: Ferguson Center • Where: Nov. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
NEWS OPINION CULTURE SPORTS
Page 4 Editor | SoRelle Wyckoff email@example.com Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Christmas cards, letters shed light on American society during holidays By Tara Massouleh Staff Columnist
CW | SoRelle Wyckoff
Cooperation required for solution to ﬁscal cliff By Robert Frye Staff Columnist In a manner that has become emblematic of U.S. politics in recent years, it has taken only slightly more than a month for our country’s politicians and media to attempt to stir the American people into a fever pitch. The issue that many have climbed their respective soapboxes for this time is the looming fiscal cliff, which, if otherwise unattended to, will go into effect at the onset of the New Year this coming January. The term fiscal cliff itself is a loaded moniker, to say the least. Upon its utterance alone, it conjures up images of a tranquil plain abruptly plunging into a rocky, menacing abyss. However, names aside, the fiscal cliff represents a dramatic transformation of the American tax code, spending procedures and sovereign debt of the United States. The fiscal cliff is the result of an only slightly less than perfect storm: the end of the Bush-era tax cuts, cuts in both domestic and defense spending mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act, and
a myriad of tax increases in almost every category imaginable. Combined, these automatically enacting measures will account for a 19.63 percent increase in tax revenue and a .25 percent reduction in federal spending. This is a clear reversal from the standard that has been set in recent years, as overall, the federal government is actually aiming to reduce the debt held by the citizens of the United States. As is the case with almost any issue that circulates through Washington D.C., the debate on how to correctly handle the issue is heatedly divided along party lines. President Obama has yet again taken to the campaign trail in an attempt to convince the American public that increasing taxes is the favorable route to take in this scenario. This is despite the prediction made by the Congressional Budget Office that such increases will result in a recession in the 2013 fiscal year. However, while the outlook for the short run indicates a potential recession, the possibility of improved economic conditions in the long term does exist.
On the other side of the coin is the Republican Party, who vehemently oppose the drastic, across-the-board tax increases. The Republicans’ conjecture is that increasing income taxes will impede the improving, but still staggering, economy. They also argue that with only 33 days until the fiscal cliff actually occurs, President Obama is squandering what precious little time is left by campaigning for his side instead of actually attempting to reach an effective solution within Congress. The debt held by the United States is a direct indicator of the economic strength of our nation, and the massive accumulation of debt we have undergone since the Clinton administration is evidence that the time leading to the fiscal cliff has been anything but a tranquil plain, in an economic sense at least. As European countries experience the pitfalls of radically downgraded credit and debt, the importance of running a fiscally responsible country has become increasingly apparent. However, brutally taxing Americans in a time of economic stagnation such as
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Robert Frye is a junior majoring in finance. His column runs biweekly.
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now should not be viewed as a viable solution to the two-headed beast of debt and stagnation we as Americans are facing. Tax increases should be left on the table, but such imposing percentage increases are unreasonable. The most effective route to debt reduction, therefore, is a much closer spread between tax increases and budget cuts. A .25 percent cut in the federal budget, while simultaneously increasing tax revenue by 19 percent, is not only unbalanced; It places the burden to reduce the debt on we the people, instead of the government that left us with the debt in the first place. While both sides remain obstinate in their convictions, the resolution clearly lies in open-minded discussion; discussion that grows more and more unlikely with each day President Obama spends attempting to campaign for his cause instead of working alongside his colleagues to reach an effective, unobtrusive solution to this issue.
Upon returning to campus just in time for the Iron Bowl after a short but much needed Thanksgiving break, characterized by turkey-induced comas followed by hours of frenzied Black Friday shopping, I was warmly greeted by the new installment of Christmas lights on Lurleen Wallace. It took only this small difference and other touches, like the gigantic wreaths displayed outside Gorgas, to immediately bring to mind all the wonderful festivities associated with the holiday season. When I think about the holidays, ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas classics such as “A Christmas Story,” “Christmas Vacation” and even “Elf” all come to mind. I think of Starbucks’s peppermint mocha, gingerbread latte and its accompanying family of seasonal drinks. I think of cozy nights spent by the warm glow of our fireplace listening to 96.5’s endless slew of Christmas songs with the scent of freshly cut pine mingling with my mom’s favorite apple cider candle. But most importantly, when I think of the holidays, I think about Christmas cards – Christmas cards stuffed in our mailbox, Christmas cards strewn haphazardly across our kitchen counter, Christmas cards stuck to our refrigerator, Christmas cards lined up across our living room mantle and Christmas cards piled at the top of our overfilled trashcan. Personally, my family has never sent Christmas cards, not because we’re heartless Grinches, and not out of some valiant effort to protest the increasing commercialization of Christmas. The primary reason we don’t send Christmas cards is because we’re too lazy. This, however, does not stop us from receiving them from virtually everyone we know (and sometimes don’t know), from my mom’s co-workers to my dad’s distant second and third cousins. The Christmas cards come funneling in with as much variety as there is in the cereal aisle at the local Super Target. There are religiousthemed cards, cheesy cartoon cards, glossy picture cards featuring smiling families dressed in carefully thoughtout coordinating outfits, and my personal favorite, cards stuffed with the infamous “family progress letters.” These “family progress
As a nation, America cares quite a bit about appearances. We want to appear strong, successful and economically stable because, after all, we are a world superpower and self-declared “The Greatest Nation on Earth.”
letters” are the most fascinating aspect of the entire Christmas card phenomenon. In case you have never experienced the good fortune of being sent your very own “family progress letter,” I’ll provide a short breakdown of its major components. It is usually one page or less, features an opening paragraph wishing everyone a good holiday season, followed by a series of paragraphs detailing the various triumphs and hardships of each family member, and ends with a short summation of how blessed the family has been over the past year as well as the things they look forward to in the next. The entire letter is typed and written in third person, as if the family is important enough to have some outside source write about their lives, rather than just have the father or mother write a personal letter to update friends and family on job promotions, broken bones, graduations and other such common family occurrences. Often these letters come from friends and family that we don’t communicate with at all during the year, save for the reliable Christmas card and accompanying progress letter. And it is this detail that provides some interesting insight into American culture. As a nation, America cares quite a bit about appearances. We want to appear strong, successful and economically stable because, after all, we are a world superpower and self-declared “The Greatest Nation on Earth.” America’s people, in the great tradition of our self-satisfied country, are no different. We send Christmas cards to spread some good ole fashioned holiday cheer of course, but more importantly we send Christmas cards to make sure everyone knows just how successful and prosperous we are and will continue to be. Tara Massouleh is a freshman majoring in journalism and English. Her column runs weekly on Wednesdays.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012 | Page 5
UA organizations foot the bill for guest lecturers University offers limited funding for campus speakers; groups must pay hotel, travel costs, cash reward By Madison Roberts Staff Reporter Though the Capstone features hundreds of guest lecturers and speakers each year to share knowledge and advice with students in their fields of study, The University of Alabama doesn’t foot the entire bill to bring them to campus. Funds must be raised by individual departments, administration or organizations. When specific organizations invite speakers to campus, they raise funds through their department or through grants. Often, if
the dean is interested in bringing in a speaker, he or she will help fund lectures or presentations. Typically, the organization will pay for the lecturer’s hotel room, travel expenses and a cash reward for their time, said Rebecca Florence, the director of college relations and associate director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences. Florence said bringing in prominent speakers requires funding from multiple organizations around campus because of the high cost of travel, time and effort.
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“When you are having a very big speaker, one department might say they will put in a certain amount of money if the provost or the dean of the college would help put in the money too,” Florence said. “Lots of times you will see that a speaker’s visit here might be sponsored by four or five different groups on campus, and they have all put money in to pay for the speaker.” Florence said these guest lecturers and speakers are essential to the undergraduate program at the University and enhance student opportunities for learning. “You want students to be able to hear from the greatest minds in the country,” Florence said. “As a student, it is important that you listen to and be able to possibly meet people who are the national and international experts in their field. That is a key part of an undergraduate education: to know who is doing research and creative work nationally and to be able to interact with them and hear from them first hand.” Stan Jones, a new professor in the department of English at the University who recently
transferred from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., said during his time at Murray, they brought many prominent speakers to the University and he believes Alabama may be beginning to do the same. He said the presentations were essential to student learning. “My experience has been that most students either enthusiastically imitate or fiercely rebel against the political and social environment in which they were raised. Their time at the University should be a time when students begin to examine the foundations on which their lives have been so far built and decide for themselves about the values and, by extension, the beliefs and paradigms that will guide their lives,” Jones said. “One way to get direct exposure to those various world views is to ‘get it from the horse’s mouth,’ so to speak, and those lectures accomplish that.” Florence said in order to get prominent and renowned speakers, sponsorship is almost always necessary. In spring 2013, the University will host Nobel Prize-
winning chemist Robert Gruggs, who is also a professor at the California Institute of Technology, as a part of the new College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Board’s Nobel Laureate Lecture series. The goal of the series is to get a Nobel Prize winner to speak every year. It is being funded by a group of 190 alumni of the college who participate in the Leadership Board. Florence said the board has agreed to fund $5,000 each year for the series, which does not include transportation or hotel stay. In order for Gruggs to speak at the University, the board partnered with the Professor Bo Arduengo Lectureship Series. Florence said this series is essential to students, because they are hearing from a realworld chemist, and despite the high sponsorship cost, she said it is worth it. “The opportunity to hear from national experts in their field is great for a student here, and that is what makes this a quality institution,” Florence said. “We do make that effort to bring world experts to campus.”
Cathy Andreen, director of media relations, said there is no University-wide cap set on how much can be spent on a guest speaker or lecturer, so it is left up to each organization and department. Jones, although he is still in his first year at the University, said he imagines funding for lecturers has decreased because of the budget cuts which force each department’s priorities to change. “The University’s allotment from the state has been cut by tens of millions of dollars. I can imagine they are scrambling to retain the educational services they provide now, and there are an endless number of requests from every department for more,” Jones said. Florence, on the other hand, said if people try hard enough, she believes there are still multiple ways to fund guest lectures at the University. “I think, typically, if departments, organizations, the dean’s office and the University as a whole would like to bring a speaker in, there are many ways to do that,” Florence said.
$8500 SPJ to host C-SPAN 2012 campaign bus Open Sun. 11-3 PM
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Broadcasting vehicle will travel to UA campus for student networking By Camille Corbett Contributing Writer The Society of Professional Journalists and the UA department of journalism are hosting the C-SPAN Campaign 2012 bus on Wed. Nov. 28 at the Trinity United Methodist Church parking lot from 12:30 to 2 pm. The C-SPAN bus is a broadcasting vehicle that travels around the country during election seasons from the primaries to the inauguration
producing stories relevant to the area that it travels through. “It’s really important to recognize what it takes to broadcast a political candidate’s speeches around the nation and around the world and this bus is one of many that allow you to take a speech from one place and beam it all across a large area,” George Daniels, SPJ faculty advisor and associate journalism professor, said. “And in the process [the bus] gives people access to
those who are seeking to represent the government, and as a citizen you should recognize the power that medium could have.” “I think this is a wonderful opportunity for students to see the C-SPAN bus firsthand and to learn about the work that goes into such extensive political coverage,” Amanda Sams, president of SPJ, said. “It is also a great chance for students to network and meet professional journalists to
learn more about the business and decide if a network like C-SPAN is the right place for them to seek a job.” The bus will also provide information for those interested in attaining an internship in the political or journalism field. “Anybody interested in getting an internship at C-SPAN can learn about the application process there,” Jennifer Greer, chair of the department of journalism, said.
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C ULTURE New small choir focuses on director-free early music
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By Deanne Winslett Staff Reporter Graduate student John Martin has a deep love for any music composed before 1750. He has adored the genre, known as early music, thoughout his graduate degree and is now taking it to another level by creating an on-campus group dedicated to the genre called the Early Music Choir. Martin said while there are a lot of very good choirs in the area, they tend to be larger in size. They focus on bigger voices and more contemporary music. “When people think of a choir concert, they usually picture a group of 40 people or more, sometimes even in the hundreds, singing with a large orchestra, performing music written within the last 200 years,” Martin said. Martin said he believes these
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sorts of choirs have great value, but he thinks that there is more potential with smaller numbers, which is why when Martin was drafting the idea for the Early Music Choir, he was interested in the closeness a smaller choir could offer. “There’s a certain intimacy and shared experience that a small group of singers without a conductor has,” he said. “Without the baton up there, each singer has to be more focused, more tuned into the music and the other singers.” Martin realized there was not a choir like this in the area. He believed the experience a small choir has to offer was too invaluable to overlook. “It’s quite magical, and it isn’t something that’s going to happen in quite the same way when someone is waving a baton between the choir and the audi-
ence,” Martin said. With that magic in mind, Martin came up with the idea for the Early Music Choir. “The choir itself is just a group of folks meeting an hour every week or so to sing and have fun,” Martin said. “The original idea was to start meeting next semester, but there were enough people interested that we started meeting a couple weeks ago to see just how feasible it all would be.” The group’s acting operations manager, Jen Stephenson, is a graduate student and a singer in the Early Music Choir. She is in charge of reminding performers about rehearsals, scheduling concerts and organizing events. While the group is just beginning, Stephenson said she has already taken a lot away from working with Martin and the other members of the choir.
“John is an excellent musician, and early music is what he most excels at. He brings a high level of musicianship to Early Music Choir as well as high expectations,” Stephenson said. “He has a wall of knowledge and experience in early music to justify why certain things must be done in certain ways, and we all really appreciate how committed he is to the group.” Stephenson said Martin has proved to be an invaluable member in the group, not only because of his advanced understanding of the genre, but also because of his performance experience on the national level. In 2010, Martin competed on “The Sing Off,” a competition show among a cappella groups across the country. “John was a member of a small group of singers who specialized in singing a cappella
music, and rehearsed the group without having an outside, nongroup member as the director,” Stephenson said. “This is exactly what the Early Music Choir is.” The Choir may not be going into full swing until next semester, but they have still been hard at work preparing for their upcoming performance, Stephenson said. The Early Music Choir’s upcoming performance will be at St. Matthias Episcopal on Dec. 9. The event begins at 4 p.m. and is free to the public. “It is a community carol sing featuring the Early Music Choir, so we hope that this event will help us get the word out about our group,” Stephenson said. Anyone interested in learning more about joining the group is welcome to email John Martin at john@streetcornersymphony. com.
John Martin, founder of the Early Music Choir.
COLUMN | FILM
Disney gives reason for optimisim about ‘Star Wars’ sequel, due in 2015 By Matt Ford
A month ago, Disney announced its plans to produce a “Star Wars” sequel trilogy beginning in 2015, and the world gasped. The Walt Disney Company will make the film after buying Lucasfilm, including the rights to the “Star Wars” franchise, for an estimated $4.05 billion in cash and shares. In many ways, this announcement inspired hope in a fan base that has heard George Lucas
proclaim for years that no sequel “Star Wars” films would be made. However, many fans are also extremely cautious with the idea of episodes seven, eight and nine coming to fruition, as they may not live up to the legacy that Lucas’s films have created. It is no great secret that many “Star Wars” fans were unhappy with Lucas’s prequel trilogy, not only because of Hayden Christensen’s amateur acting, or the nightmare that is Jar Jar Binks, but also because many
thought the overall artistry of the films did not meet the level of creativity that the original trilogy had. Although I personally enjoyed all three prequels, the consensus I hear from the “Star Wars” die-hards time and time again is that they aren’t as good as the originals. It is my hope that the sequel trilogy will escape that judgment. Disney has an incredible track record with fantasy and sci-fi films for the most part (we’re going to temporarily leave “John Carter”
COLUMN | FOOD
Season calls for sweet holiday treats By Sophia Jones With Christmas break and exam week drawing near, there’s no better way to beat the cold and blow off stress than to satisfy your sweet tooth. Christmas calls for candy, cookies and cupcakes, and everyone knows the best way to spread holiday cheer is through food. Below I have shared a collection of simple, delicious and inexpensive holiday treats that are sure to leave a smile on your face and jingle bells ringing in your ear. Peppermint bark is a holiday classic. All you need is some dark chocolate, white chocolate and crushed candy canes. Although you can buy this refreshing treat at the store, I believe the bark tastes better when you make it yourself. You can crush the candy canes yourself, but I use a food processor to get the pieces as tiny
as possible. First, melt some of the dark chocolate and pour it over a cookie sheet. Spread it out into an even thickness and put it into the refrigerator to harden. Then repeat with the white chocolate, pouring it over the dark layer. Sprinkle the candy canes over the white chocolate before it has hardened. Place your tray back into the refrigerator to let the bark harden for 30 minutes, and then you will have a delicious snack for after class. If you still enjoy baking cookies for Santa, reindeer sugar cookies will have Rudolph guiding the sleigh straight to your house. To make things easier, you can buy some premade sugar cookie dough from the store. Roll your dough into balls, then flatten the balls and shape them into triangles. Place pretzel pieces on two of the triangle corners for antlers,
and red M&M’s at the corner of each nose (for Rudolph) and two green M&M’s to make eyes. Then bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes until golden. If you want to make your baking experience into more of an event, I suggest making ornament cupcakes. These holiday treats are a favorite of mine because they are fun to decorate. Start by baking a batch of cupcakes as you would any other, using your choice of vanilla or chocolate batter. After your cupcakes have baked and cooled, use a bit of frosting to attach a gumdrop to the edge of the cupcake to make the ornament hook. Then decorate your cupcakes differently. You can use any color or flavor icing and any type of candy or sprinkles to make each cupcake ornament different. This is a great way to get together and bake with friends.
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out of the equation). Disney also has the kind of financial capabilities to utilize cutting edge special effects technology, in addition to recruiting practically any movie star they desire for the series. So why are fans so nervous? This will be the first “Star Wars” film not directed by George Lucas, although he will be a creative consultant. Although that may evoke anxiety in some hardcore fans, hopefully Michael Ardnt (“Toy Story 3” and “Little Miss Sunshine”) writing the screenplay will calm any naysayers. The plot seems to be the most blaring issue. In the original trilogy, the Jedi were all but extinct and Luke Skywalker’s group struggles to overthrow the evil
galactic empire and Darth Vader. In the trio of prequel films, we watch Anakin Skywalker’s rise and fall as a Jedi and the extermination of the Jedi knights, ultimately leading to the events of Episode Four. Since the primary conflict of the series was resolved in Episode Six, the question at hand is what events will be followed in Episode Seven. A popular theory is that the episode will follow the rebuilding of the Jedi knights’ order, or perhaps take place so far in the future that the Jedi are strong once more. Producers and actors of the series have claimed through the decades that the only characters guaranteed to be in every film are R2-D2 and C-3PO, the two robots. If
that still holds true, then what will happen to Luke Skywalker and his gang? Or, if that rumor proves to be false, who will portray the legendary hero in his later years? It all depends on where Episode Seven falls on the timeline, but I think we can all expect to hear a lot of buzz on casting from now until 2015. I am hopeful for the sequels. Disney’s move to continue the series is gutsy, and the movies will be analyzed under tough scrutiny from those who hold “Star Wars” as a main component of their childhoods. However, so long as Lucas can guide the films to continue the cinematic magic he began, I think audiences will be pleased with what Disney has in store.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012 | Page 7
ESPN.comâ€™s Edward Aschoff talks Bama, UGA By Marc Torrence Assistant Sports Editor The Crimson White spoke with ESPN.com SEC blogger Edward Aschoff to get his thoughts on the upcoming SEC Championship Game between Alabama and Georgia. Crimson White: Are Alabama and Georgia mirror images of each other, especially on offense? Edward Aschoff: Yeah, I think so. Both teams have extremely strong and powerful running games. The advantage Georgia and Alabama have had this season is that they can put two guys out there each game. When you look at the two quarterbacks â€“ two of the most efficient quarterbacks in the SEC
and the country â€“ both teams have some very valuable weapons at wide receiver. Altogether, those offenses really do mirror each other. CW: What kind of matchup problems does Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones create for Alabama? EA: Heâ€™s somebody that can line up anywhere, and he just somehow figures out a way to get to the ball. Heâ€™s just now really learning how to be a pass rusher. He knows where the quarterbackâ€™s going to be on every single play. And I think thatâ€™s a really special aspect for him. Itâ€™s not just the physical skill; itâ€™s the mental skill; itâ€™s the leadership that he brings. He knows what plays are, and he
dissects them before the plays start. He can cover guys, and he can also blitz the quarterback. If heâ€™s dropping back, he can take away passes. If he blitzes, he can take away passes and the run. Having that offensive line is a plus, but you have to have another blocker and that takes away another weapon from Alabamaâ€™s offense. CW: Is it safe to say Georgia has played really well all year but just had one off night against South Carolina? EA: South Carolina was more prepared. They came in with a better attitude and a better game plan than Georgia. Jarvis Jones even said earlier this week that the defense wasnâ€™t
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where it needed it be, it wasnâ€™t focused like it needed to be. Having him injured earlier in the season hurt with communication and you could see it in the South Carolina game. And I donâ€™t think that communication really came back until they played Florida at the end of October. I think that was the game that really turned the tide for Georgiaâ€™s defense. For the offense, that was the only game that it struggled, which is ironic because itâ€™s been one of the most explosive offenses in the SEC except for that week. CW: Which team matches up better with Notre Dame? EA: Itâ€™s tough to say right now. With the way that Notre Dameâ€™s offense plays, both defenses would have the edge in this one.
And I think both offenses would be able to put up some points against Notre Dame. But I think it comes down to the play up front and Alabama does have the stronger offensive line. Overall, when you look at the playmakers, Georgia has more playmakers on offense than Alabama. But that offensive line would be such a big part of the time because of how good Notre Dameâ€™s defense has been. I would give the edge right now to Alabama just because they would be able to wear down Notre Dameâ€™s defensive line faster than Georgia. CW: Who wins and why? EA: The issue that Georgia has had in big games doesnâ€™t
come down to, â€œare they physical enough?â€? Itâ€™s the mental side. We saw last year in Atlanta â€“ you get that early lead and a lot of mistakes happen. Alabama doesnâ€™t have those kind of problems. Nick Saban does such a good job of coaching guys after they lose. This team knows how to play in those biggame situations. Saban has been there before. Georgia has struggled when the limelight is on, and thatâ€™s a big advantage for Alabama. I think itâ€™s close early, but with the way that line has played early, I think thereâ€™s a chip on the shoulder with the defense. I think Alabama pulls away in the second half, specifically the fourth quarter.
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HOROSCOPES Todayâ€™s Birthday (11/28/12). Todayâ€™s lunar eclipse in Gemini emphasizes relationships for the next six months. It gets especially romantic around the holidays. Family, health and wellness are recurring themes. Revise exercise and diet practices as you care for others. Your active social life keeps you hopping. To get the advantage, check the dayâ€™s rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging. Aries (March 21-April 19) -- Today is a 8 -- Be present to your luck and intelligence. Start with what you know, and learn what you need. Associates supply bright ideas. Nowâ€™s a good time to set priorities. Taurus (April 20-May 20) -- Today is a 8 -- You gain a surprising advantage, financially and otherwise. Go for it, while maintaining a realistic perspective. Slow down the pace for a couple of days, and replenish reserves. Gemini (May 21-June 20) -- Today is a 9 -- It may be harder and more time consuming, but it will be much more rewarding. A spark of passion lightens up the day. Deeds speak louder than words, and you can move mountains! Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- Today is a 6 -- Entering a two-day pensive phase. Your ideas will reach farther, with exceptional patience. Your dreams are prophetic. Postpone travel for now. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Today is a 9 -- Exceptional patience is required right now. Luckily, you have your friends when you need them. Continue to build up your assets, and increase your leverage.
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Page 8 Editor | Marquavius Burnett email@example.com Wednesday, November 28, 2012
UGA, Alabama similar on both offense, defense Tide players ‘not taking them lightly’ By Zac Al-Khateeb
As the biggest game of the year in the Southeastern Conference approaches, many fans and pundits of the game have noticed how Alabama and Georgia are so strikingly similar to one another. Indeed, both teams feature powerful running back tandems, efficient quarterbacks and destructive defenses. With so many similarities between Alabama and Georgia, the game could really go either way. But, just for fun, let’s take a look at how each of these teams compare in crucial areas of the game, starting with the most critical position in all football:
the quarterback. Both Aaron Murray and AJ McCarron have been stellar for their respective teams, and have greatly minimized their mistakes. Indeed, Murray and McCarron rank first and second nationally, respectively, in passer rating. Murray is turning a 177.1 passer rating, to McCarron’s 176.3. Unfortunately for Alabama and Georgia, both teams have had their share of bad breaks in terms of injuries. Alabama has lost three wide receivers this season, most recently in Kenny Bell, the Tide’s best deep threat and second-leading receiver. Georgia has also lost Marion Brown and Michael Bennett,
the Bulldogs’ leading receivers at the time of their injuries. It’ll be interesting to see how the remaining receivers step up in a big-game situation. Thankfully for both teams, they can rely on strong running back tandems to help take pressure off the passing game. Alabama’s rushing game is paced by Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, who’ve accumulated 1,001 and 847 rushing yards and a total of 24 rushing touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have turned in 1,138 and 720 yards respectively and 22 total rushing touchdowns.
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Regardless of these teams’ respective offensive firepower, the defenses aren’t anything to take lightly either. For comparison’s sake, we’ll look at Georgia’s two biggest playmakers on defense and look at Alabama’s counterparts, starting with Bulldogs safety Bacarri Rambo and Robert Lester. Rambo, considered one of the nation’s best safeties, has hauled in three interceptions this year, while Lester has turned in four. Rambo has been more instrumental in the rush defense for his team, however, turning in 59 tackles so far, to Lester’s 34. Even so, Lester has made more plays in the backfield, turning in more tackles for loss and sacks than Rambo. However, Rambo is not Georgia’s biggest defensive threat. That accolade goes to Jarvis Jones, widely considered one of the best defensive players in the nation. Jones is a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators, turning in 19.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks this season. Individually, Alabama doesn’t have any individual player that’s comparable to Jones. No need to fear, however. In just about every major statistical category, Alabama leads Georgia. How? Alabama’s style of play, especially at linebacker, isn’t meant to accentuate the talents of one player. Rather, Alabama plays more as a cohesive unit. So, there it is. Like looking into a mirror, isn’t it? Well, with all the similarities between these two teams, it’ll be interesting to see which one of these programs can come out with a win. Regardless, it’ll sure be a fun one to watch.
By Alexis Paine Staff Reporter For the Crimson Tide, preparing to face the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship is like preparing to face itself. “It’s football the way it’s supposed to be played,” defensive end Damion Square said about the Bulldog offense he will face in this Saturday’s Southeastern Conference Championship. While Tide fans may have written off the game against the Bulldogs, the players believe it will be a tough matchup. “We’re definitely not taking them lightly,” Square said. “We understand that those guys are going to come play the best game they’ve played all year and we’re trying to come play the best game we’ve played all year. Georgia has been playing big time football.” The defense is preparing to face Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray, who leads the nation in passing efficiency. “He’s a great quarterback – coached well,” Square said. “He’s a guy that plays the quarterback position the way it’s supposed to be played, and he does a great job for his team.” Square said the Tide defense will be putting more pressure on Murray to limit the junior’s passing ability. However, the Bulldog running back tandem of true freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall is another threat the Tide will have to handle, Square said. The Tide offense will be focusing a lot of attention on stopping Bulldog linebacker Jarvis Jones, said tight end Michael Williams. “On film, he’s the first one
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that stands out, because he’s the first line of defense and comes through the hole and make a lot of plays for them,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a big task for us to stop him.” Williams said having a good running game will help the Tide against Jones. The Tide will be able to keep the linebacker off balance, slowing his progression up-field.
Team leaders, seniors excited for championship game The Tide seniors will play in their first SEC Championship game since 2009. “As a senior class it’s a big thing, because the last time we were here we were all freshmen,” Williams said. We remember how that game felt and it was a big deal for our team. That was one of our goals for this year, and now we have a chance to go out the same way we came in.”
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