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SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2007
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Auburn

Austin High graduate Morgan Hull said he isn’t sure when Auburn’s first football game is this season, but he found out Friday that he likely will be on the sidelines when the Tigers host Kansas State on Sept. 1.

Hull, a place-kicker, who is on a full academic tuition scholarship, attended his first collegiate classes Thursday. And after a showcase for coach Tommy Tuberville and several assistant coaches Friday, walk-on coordinator Andy Lutz told Hull he will be part of the team.

“They said I was on, and I will report to practice on Saturday,” Hull said. “Seeing the end result of a long summer’s work feels really good.”

Austin coach David Norwood said injuries to other Auburn kickers may provide Hull a shot at a starting position.

Hull, a Decatur Daily all-area and all-state selection, said the assistants were most impressed with his ability to kick off.

Hull said that while kicking off from the 30-yard line, he registered several that went 8 yards into the end zone Friday.

His senior season at Austin, Hull was 14 of 16 in field goals, including a long of 53 yards.

Norwood said that Hull’s talent was the kind “that could change a game.”

“I knew he would make it. I knew he had a Division I leg,” Norwood said.

Norwood said Hull has put forth the same dedication to his kicking skills as he did in building a 3.9 high school grade-point-average, and as a result he looks for him to succeed both on and off the field.

“He has been up on our field every day this summer trying to prepare for this,” Norwood said. “As a coach, it is a great feeling when one of your kids is able to go onto the next level. It’s a special feeling.”

Brooke Milam,
Daily Sports Writer

Alabama

Alabama hired Jeff Purinton as athletics director for football media relations, according to a release sent out Friday by the school.

“I’m very pleased to have Jeff Purinton involved with our football program,” Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban said. “With the amount of media attention the Alabama football program receives, we felt it was important to get someone with Jeff’s experience here to enhance our media relations and marketing efforts as they relate to Alabama football.”

It is a new position created by the department.

Purinton handled media relations for the Orange Bowl Committee from 2006-07. Before that, he worked 13 years in Florida State’s media relations department.

? Don’t expect plenty of late-night practices for the Crimson Tide this week. With its season-opening game against Western Carolina set for 6:07 p.m. Sept. 1, Saban said he has no preference when the Tide works out.

“When I first got to LSU we played almost all night games,” Saban said. “We scrimmaged at night, but it didn’t seem to have much of an effect. So after a while we didn’t do it anymore.”

According to Saban, the team will try to simulate the times for a large portion of its games, which will be in the range of noon to 2 p.m.

Josh Cooper,
Daily Sports Writer

South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A highly touted South Carolina recruit arrested for marijuana possession could have the charge dropped from his record if he stays out of trouble for the next six months, a judge ruled.

Magistrate Phil Newsom agreed to a conditional discharge for offensive lineman Quintin Richardson on Thursday.

Richardson was arrested last month when deputies responding to an apartment complex shooting found marijuana in his pocket, authorities said.

Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A state judge again dismissed a lawsuit against University of Arkansas officials over an e-mail critical of ex-Arkansas quarterback Mitch Mustain — and the judge said Friday the plaintiff must pay the defense $1,000 in attorney fees.

Washington County Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay ruled in the case brought by John David Terry of Mount Ida. Lindsay dismissed the suit in June, but allowed time for Terry’s attorney, Eddie Christian Jr., to amend and refile the complaint.

The amended complaint failed to sway Lindsay.

Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue kicker Tim Dougherty will leave Purdue and transfer to Louisville, Purdue’s sports information office said Friday.

Dougherty was a second-team all-state kicker at St. Xavier High in Louisville, Ky., but the redshirt freshman never played for Purdue.

Jacksonville State

JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville State football team got some relief from the 10 consecutive days of 100-plus degree temperatures on Friday after thunderstorms in the area forced the Gamecocks to cancel their afternoon workout. But head coach Jack Crowe says the missed afternoon practice shouldn’t put the Gamecocks behind schedule in preparations for the season-opener, which is just two weeks away.

UAB

BIRMINGHAM — The UAB football team practiced twice Friday, going for approximately two hours in shoulder pads during the morning session, and approximately 21/2 hours without pads in the afternoon.

- From staff, wire reports

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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