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THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2007
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UA coach news interrupts Decatur teacher assembly, bringing cheers

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com · 340-2432

One cell phone ringing in a meeting is an annoyance, but multiple ring tones normally bring big news.

Decatur City Schools had an assembly Wednesday morning to begin a teacher in-service day. The first cell phone ring occurred during Superintendent Sam Houston's speech.

The audience ignored it. Then giggles and snickers accompanied a series of cell notes. At the end of the speech, Principal Mike Ward made the anticipated announcement: Nick Saban said yes to Bama. The audience cheered.

He said he had asked his son to send him a text message if Saban accepted Alabama's offer. Saban was to make an announcement at 9 a.m. CST, but the clock ticked past without a word.

"I told Don that I didn't think he (Saban) was coming because I told my son I only wanted to know if he was coming," Ward said.

But Ward and others in the crowd knew something was up when multiple phones rang. About that time he got his long-awaited message.

Houston said the Saban issue reminded him of when star recruit Tim Tebow announced his decision to choose Florida over Alabama. That announcement occurred during a Decatur City Board of Education meeting and was duly relayed by cell phone.

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