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July 26, 2013

7 at 7: An abundance of links to start your weekend off right

BY RYAN BLACK | rblack@ledger-enquirer.com


AUBURN, Ala. — Whew.

It’s been a busy first few weeks on the job since taking over as the War Eagle Extra’s newest beat writer. While it’s been full-go from the start, I’ll be off the next two days as I finally get moved into my apartment in Auburn. (Living in hotels for a few weeks is fine, but I’m ready for more permanent digs.) But not to worry — being off until Sunday doesn’t mean there won’t be content added to the blog. I’ll have my final two SEC preseason power rankings articles, and keep an eye out for a big feature that will run online Saturday and in the following day’s paper.

But with so many things going on around Auburn and the world of sports, I figured it was time for another edition of “7 at 7.” Yes, even though it’s posting at 8 a.m. ET. (Hey, it’s seven o’clock somewhere.)

Let’s get to it.

Yight end C.J. Uzomah said Tuesday he is ready to become Auburn's "go-to" receiver this fall. (Photo by Todd Van Emst)

Tight end C.J. Uzomah said Tuesday he is ready to become Auburn’s “go-to” receiver this fall. (Photo by Todd Van Emst)

1. In case you missed anything on Thursday, the War Eagle Extra blog was buzzing with a trio of different entries. First, there was a profile of tight end C.J. Uzomah, who said he was up for the challenge of becoming the Tigers’ lead receiver. Readers made for a great live chat on Thursday as well. Along with the requisite questions about the quarterback position and the incoming freshman class, one Auburn backup ended up as the star of the chat — enough so that one person said he should run for president. Check out a replay of the chat if you weren’t able to make it. Finally, the latest edition of my SEC preseason power rankings appeared, covering the two teams who clock in at Nos. 5 and 6.

2. Auburn picked up two transfers on Thursday, according to a pair of other writers on the beat. As first reported by Phillip Marshall of AuburnTigers.com, Tucker Tuberville, the eldest son of former coach Tommy Tuberville, will walk on to the Tigers as a quarterback and be ready for fall camp. Tuberville was a redshirt at Texas Tech last season.

Jay G. Tate had the other scoop of the day. Tate, the publisher of AuburnSports.com, the team’s Rivals.com site, said another former Red Raider will transfer into the Tigers’ program in defensive end Chase Robinson. According to Tate, Robinson is expected to join the team in mid-August after finishing summer classes at Texas Tech, and then suit up for the Tigers in 2014.

3. Well, former Auburn running back Michael Dyer has finally made his decision: He’s going to a Division I school. He just won’t reveal which one — yet. For more details on Dyer’s future, check out this piece from Grantland’s Bryan Curtis. Some good writing and reporting here, folks.

4. By now, I assume most have seen the replay and heard the news about Auburn grad and Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson. The veteran hurler broke his ankle Wednesday night in New York against the Mets. In a freak accident, Mets left fielder Eric Young Jr. accidentally stepped on Hudson’s ankle as he was trying to beat out a throw to first base. Hudson had to be carted off the field after the play, and not surprisingly, it was later announced that the 38-year-old’s season was over.

But in the aftermath of such a gruesome and saddening injury, it was great to see how well Hudson’s wife, Kim, handled the news. Young was visibly upset after the play, and sent out a tweet following the game wishing Hudson “a speedy recovery.” And as USA Today reports, Kim Hudson responded soon thereafter, noting how much she appreciates how he plays the game “the right way.”

If only we could all respond in such a tactful manner when we have to deal with adverse situations in our lives.

5. There was more good news for another classy individual on Thursday, as it was announced that Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston has finally been reinstated by the NCAA. For those not familiar with the story, I’ll let my colleague at The Macon Telegraph, Seth Emerson, fill in the blanks.

“Houston first tested positive for norandrolone, an anabolic steroid, when he enrolled at Georgia in 2010. According to Houston and UGA, he was administered the illegal drug by an “unscrupulous” doctor after shoulder surgery. The residue from the drug stayed in Houston’s system, causing him to continually test above the threshold allowed by the NCAA.”

The Bulldogs continually pushed for his reinstatement since it first took effect after he enrolled at Georgia three years ago, but it had been a long and frustrating process for all involved.

Though he’s a member of one of the Tigers’ rivals, people should be happy for Houston in at least one regard: He just wanted a chance to play. Now he’ll have that opportunity. And it’s hard to beat getting this kind of news on your birthday, isn’t it? Houston turned 22 on Thursday.

6. The folks over at the War Eagle Reader tipped us off to a story quite germane to those around Auburn. According to an article by Reason.com’s Tracy Oppenheimer, the Auburn Police Department instituted an aggressive ticket and arrest quota beginning in 2010 with the arrival of a new police chief. This claim was made by former officer and whistleblower Justin Hanners, who is no longer with the department after he said he refused to comply with the directive.

Regardless of your initial thoughts on the report, I urge you to read the article and watch the embedded video before drawing your own conclusion.

7. People who follow War Eagle Extra on Twitter — and if you’re not doing so already, why not go and do it now at THIS link — might have seen this video already. But few things will prepare you for an Arkansas fan honoring coach Bret Bielema with “I’m a Beliemer” (to the tune of The Monkees “I’m a Believer”) in terribly off-key fashion.

Yes, it’s every bit as terrible as it sounds.

And with that, I’m out.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. I don’t see how a UGA OL being reinstated is good news to Auburn fans? I know you graduated from UGA and love your school and there is nothing wrong with that but leave that UGA loving stuff away from this site please.

    Comment by Brian — July 26, 2013 @ 9:35 am

  2. p.s. Thanks for the good work on the other stories though.

    Comment by Brian — July 26, 2013 @ 9:37 am

  3. Brian: If you read what I wrote, I didn’t say this was “good news” for Auburn fans. I said it was “good news” for “a classy individual” in Houston, who had to get through a difficult time when most thought the NCAA acted overly harsh in dealing with his case. Of course, this kind of handling is par for the course when it comes to the NCAA. And as I said before, I only wrote Auburn fans should be pleased for the well-being of their fellow man. A kid is finally going to get a chance to play after his career has been on hold for three years. How many players try to fight that long just to get on the field in their collegiate career, especially in this day and age? Just look at how many kids transfer these days when they see, “Oops, too much competition here for me. I’ll go somewhere else where I can step in and start without worrying about not getting significant playing time.” So this isn’t me being a “UGA lover” — far from it. If you can’t see that, it’s not on me. –RB

    Comment by Ryan Black — July 26, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  4. Brian: P.S., thanks for the kind words on the other stories I linked to. RB

    Comment by Ryan Black — July 26, 2013 @ 9:54 am

  5. It is certainly a good news that a Houston is reinstate. Rivalries apart, its always good to hear that a kid who was sidelined due to somebody else’s fault is getting a chance to pad up again. It would have been frustrating for him to sit out for 3 years. Finally NCAA came to their senses. Although he has only 2 years of eligibility left but something is better than nothing.

    Thanks Ryan for keeping us posted.


    Comment by SS — July 26, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  6. The Dyer story was good reading, and I hope he can turn himself around, but I’m not convinced he has. He still sounds pretty arrogant. And bits and pieces from reporters when Dyer was at Auburn and before he got in trouble gave the impression that some of the other players were afraid of him. Just because you haven’t gone to jail doesn’t mean you’re not a thug. It was so disappointing to see that side of a guy who, up until that point, I had thought was a good kid. Have you seen his reaction when Bo congratulated him on breaking the freshman rushing record? (You can find it on YouTube if not.) The two images don’t mesh.

    Comment by Nancy Cooper — July 26, 2013 @ 11:02 am

  7. Thanks for the stories. I wanted to know more about Houston and you made that incredibly easy.

    On the subject of Dyer: I know I’m a biased Auburn grad/fan, but some of that story seemed a little off. For one thing, he complained about the coaches not caring for him at Auburn, so he follows an Auburn coach to Arkansas State. Maybe that was his only offer, though I doubt it, and that would make sense. That’s not an indictment on the story/writer, more so obscurity from only reading secondhand information about Dyer.

    Regardless, keep up the good work!

    Comment by Rand — July 26, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

  8. Some Christian colleges require students to not drink and be in bed in dorms at a decent hour. Too many universities waste the money of parents when Freshment play and drink and party the Freshman year, although all underage and many flunk out.

    Better investment for an 18 year old is some folks to watch over junior. Police, administration.

    Drinking age is 21 in Alabama I think. That means maybe a Junior or Senior can drink. Again, morality of folks , businesses selling minors alcohol is a great issue and so I applaud any crackdown.

    Comment by wt — July 26, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

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