For the sake of maintaining their pure competitive spirits, NCAA athletes who help generate tens of millions of dollars for their schools have almost no sanctioned opportunities to come under the corrupting influence of money themselves. One of the rare exceptions is bowl travel stipends: Most teams headed to a postseason game break for a few days, then reconvene at the bowl site for final practices and pre-game festivities. Subsequently, the NCAA offers a set dollar amount for players who travel individually, and they're allowed to pocket the difference between that number and the actual cost of the trip. This is standard procedure everywhere, including Alabama during the Tide's short trips to Louisiana for the Independence and Sugar bowls the last two seasons.
This time around, though, 'Bama captains weighed the break and the cash against the cost of splitting up the team and burdening players with the logistics of connecting flights, delays and other holiday travel hang-ups in the middle of preparations for the BCS Championship game on Jan. 7, and decided they'd rather stick together than get paid.
My hats off to Bama and the team captain's for not taking advantage of the situation, and for being more worried about team unity then an individual wallet. After the way they dismantled my Gators I was rooting for them anyway but now I can say this and really mean it ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!