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Statement From Mike Shula Regarding Spring Awards


Monday, April 05, 2004

Coach Mike Shula

"We would like to publicly apologize to Sylvester Croom and his family for changing the name of one of our spring awards.

"I have personally spoken to Sylvester (Sunday night) and told him there was no disrespect intended toward him, and that there was no intention whatsoever to take away from the importance or prestige of the spring award named in his honor.

"The Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence Award, begun by Bill Curry in 1987, will be restored to its original name and we will institute another spring honor, the Bart Starr Most Improved Quarterback Award which will be given to Marc Guillon.

"Our original intention was to not have an award named after another head coach in the SEC. However, we need to fully recognize and value the deep feelings of all our players about their years and contributions to our great University."


Alabama spring awards began in 1971 and 1972 by Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.  Those were:

  • Lee Roy Jordan Headhunter
  • Jerry Duncan "I Like to Practice"
  • Billy Neighbors Most Improved Defensive Lineman
  • Bobby Johns Most Improved Defensive Back
  • Paul Crane Most Improved Offensive Lineman
  • Ray Perkins Most Improved Receiver
  • Johnny Musso Most Improved Offensive Back
  • Dixie Howell Memorial

In 1987-88, Bill Curry added:

  • Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence
  • Dwight Stephenson MVP Lineman of the A-Day Game
  • Woodrow Lowe Most Improved Linebacker
  • Ozzie Newsome Most Improved Freshman
  • "Bear" Bryant Non-Scholarship
  • Lifter of the Year

In 2000, Mike DuBose added:

  • Derrick Thomas Community Award

In 2001, Dennis Franchione added:

  • Iron Man Award

In 2003, Mike Price added:

  • Mal Moore Leadership Award

In 2004, Mike Shula added:

  • Bart Starr Most Improved Quarterback Award

Under Gene Stallings from 1994-96, only the Dixie Howell Memorial Award and the Dwight Stephenson Award were awarded at the A-Day game.