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Phillip's blog: A sick response

As the tragic news broke Thursday of the death of Alabama offensive tackle Aaron Douglas, the response in ESPN.com’s “College Football Rumor Mill” was nothing short of sick.

Senior Editor Phillip Marshall

Here’s what Albert Linn wrote:

“Looks as if Nick Saban was prescient when he gave rising senior OL Alfred McCullough and rising junior RG Barrett Jones snaps at LT this spring. In what qualifies as devastating news on the heels of the tornadoes that flattened Tuscaloosa, juco OL Aaron Douglas, who was recruited specifically to replace James Carpenter at LT, was found dead in Jacksonville on Thursday.

"Although it's far from the most important result of this development, Douglas' death leaves the door wide open for five-star OT Cyrus Kouandijo to seize the job when he arrives this summer. If Kouandijo is slow to pick up the offense, Jones could open the season as the start, as Saban said that MCcullough is more of a natural guard (he's only 6-foot-2).”

He wrote that. He really did. And as best I can tell, he still his a job.

ESPN issued a lame explanation, saying it did not meet “journalistic standards.” But that wasn’t enough. It wasn’t close to enough.

Whether someone is a journalist or just fan, if the first thing that came to his mind when his heard of the death of a 21-year-old was what impact it would have on Alabama’s depth chart, he needs to check himself in a major way.

Compared to what Douglas’ family is going through today and will go through for the rest of their lives, who plays left tackle, how many games anybody wins or who wins a championship is about as close to meaningless as you can get.

Moving on:

Speaking of ESPN, there is web site poll speculating on who might be the offensie MVP next season. Trent Richardson is mentioned prominently. So is Marcus Lattimore and a few others. Mike Dyer, who outplayed Lattimore twice, was the MVP in the BCS Championship Game and gained more than 1,200 yards isn’t mentioned at all. Strange. …

The first wave of incoming freshmen will start classes at Auburn next week. Quarterback Kiehl Frazier will be among them. …

We’ve been writing this week about Auburn teams that got national championship recognition. On the other end of the spectrum, what about the most disappointing Auburn teams?

I’d say 1984, when the Tigers were ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls and went 9-4, and 1985, when they were ranked No. 1 two weeks into the season and went 8-4 would be leading candidates. The 2003 season, when a lot of people were predicting a national championship run, would up there, as would 2008. It’s easy to forget, considering the way the season unfolded, but Auburn was picked at SEC Media Days to win the West in 2008. …

Until next time …

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