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TUSCALOOSA — Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne argued Thursday that his department has been at the forefront of encouraging mask-wearing, a place Alabama has tried to own through its social media accounts. Consistent visuals of players and coaches in masks and examples of health and safety protocols are frequent.

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TUSCALOOSA — Going into a sixth month of uncertainty in college athletics, University of Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne knows two things for certain: no matter what happens with football, financial losses will be challenging, and if there are football games in Bryant-Denny Stadium this fall, not many people will be in attendance.

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TUSCALOOSA — The move to a 10-game, SEC-only schedule could have the University of Alabama obligated to pay out more than $3.5 million to schools that were originally contracted to play the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa in the 2020 season.

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Masks are outnumbering weight belts in weight rooms. Strength and conditioning staffs are considering COVID-19 tests and disinfecting more than strength and speed development. In some places, when football games are played, empty seats will outnumber occupied ones.

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TUSCALOOSA — On the morning of May 28, Alabama had a 2021 recruiting class ranked 48th in the 247 Sports Composite. It’s hard to tell what was more shocking: the number of the ranking or the schools ahead of Alabama at the time, including Pitt and SMU.

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TUSCALOOSA — After the team banded together for a video message Thursday, two University of Alabama gymnasts have addressed allegations of racism in their program in their own words.

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The University of Alabama’s gymnasts are not physically together while their program culture is being challenged, as gymnasts have yet to return to campus for voluntary workouts. But they have banded together virtually.

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Tia Kiaku addressed claims of racist behavior with University of Alabama leadership, gymnastics coaches and fellow gymnasts. In all instances, she felt she was not taken seriously.

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Tuesday was Blackout Tuesday on social media platforms, with University of Alabama athletics leadership and official team Twitter accounts posting blank black pictures in solidarity with the black community. UA players across sports did the same, but Tuesday was far from the beginning from them: UA’s athletes have let their voices be heard throughout the protests taking place around the nation.

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A season-long penalties problem proved to be most costly at the end of Alabama’s regular season last year, in its final possession of a loss to Auburn. Fifteen penalty yards slowed progress on a drive that ultimately ended with a missed field goal attempt on the 11-yard line.

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University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban and athletics director Greg Byrne both released statements Sunday, after days of protests against police brutality on people of color around the nation.

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College football recruiting is not immune to the peculiar era that has been the spring of 2020. Tennessee (No. 2 in the 247 Sports Composite rankings) and North Carolina (No. 4) are ahead of traditional recruiting powers such as Michigan, Florida, LSU and Notre Dame. Minnesota and Iowa are top 10 teams; Texas and Georgia are not.

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The University of Alabama athletics department now knows which direction it is headed in terms of a return of sports competition in the fall, but several specifics remain to be answered along the journey.

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University of Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne is currently the highest paid athletics administrator in the Southeastern Conference, according to a release today of compensation information from all 130 NCAA Division I institutions by the website AthleticDirectorU.com and Spencer Fane LLP.

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