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August 3, 2010

Notebook: Saban ends offseason with annual charity luncheon

TUSCALOOSA _ Football coach/movie star Nick Saban made his final appearance of the summer Tuesday afternoon at an event he looks forward to every year.

Saban and his wife Terry handed out more than $450,000 to local and state charities at the fourth annual Nick's Kids Luncheon at The Zone at Bryant-Denny Stadium. With most of the money raised through the annual Nick's Kids Golf Tournament, speaking engagements and donations, more than $1.5 million has been distributed to 140-plus charities and organizations since 2007.

"It was great to be in the movie 'The Blind Side,' I didn't really want to be in the movie to be honest with you, but it really was great," Saban said. "I think the reason why I say that is the feeling that you get when you leave the movie.

"Do I do enough? Do I help enough people? Is there someone out there somewhere who needs an opportunity, who are willing to work and have a little talent and ability? Is there someone out there who just needs an opportunity?"

Nick's Kids is a designated fund of the Alma Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charity, dedicated to the honor of Saban's father. Overall, 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to charities.

"We've done a little more each year," Saban said.

The luncheon always held the day before fall practice opens.

"This is my favorite day of the year. I know that's a big-time thing to win a national championship, but I actually enjoy what we do in helping so many people in this state - and there are so many people that contribute to that in so many ways, that we are able to do this and make a significant contribution to so many organizations."

ESPN to showcase Alabama

ESPN began filming the football program for an all-access show that will broadcast Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. on ESPNU, and Thursday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

The network crew has been granted access to everything from practices to team meetings for eight days. The Tide reports Wednesday, with Saban holding a press conference to open fall camp, and the first workouts Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Excerpts will also be shown on SportsCenter all next week (Aug. 9-13).

The unrelated documentary entitled "Nick Saban: Gamechanger" is scheduled to premier August 24.

Tide-bits

There's nothing new on the status of defensive end Marcell Dareus: "It's an ongoing investigation," Saban said. "We won't know anything more about Marcell until the NCAA makes a decision, whether he violated rules, whether he took something from someone, whether he needs to pay it back, and whether it's going to cost him any games. I don't know any of that, and there will be no update it will be a decision."

Defensive back DeQuan Menzie (Achilles) is ahead of schedule and is expected to practice. The team is hopeful that he could be up to full-speed by the season opener.

On signees Deion Belue and Blake Sims qualifying: "One can do it, one guy may not be able to it in time for fall camp. We don't have room for everybody anyway so if everyone qualifies someone will have to wait."

Work on the stadium expansion is essentially down to interior installation.

The Sabans are having all new players over for dinner Tuesday night, which has become an annual tradition. So has the coach taking many of them tubing on Lake Tuscaloosa, where more than a few have lost their shorts over the years. "I've learned don't try and take their towels," Terry Saban joked.

The grandfather of Mark Ingram, Art Johnson, died of a heart attack at age 75, one day after the running back came home for a visit. "He was a great dude and he lived a along life and he was blessed and I don't think anyone should be sad," Ingram told the Flint Journal. "Everyone should be happy because these last few years I think he's been the happiest he's ever been in his life."


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