TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - More than 30 years after their All-SEC careers as defensive backs under Coach Paul W. Bryant, Ricky Davis (1972-74) and Alan Pizzitola (1973-75) have pooled their resources to make a gift to the Athletic Department's Crimson Tradition Fund.
In recognition of their gift, the Defensive Backs' Meeting Room in the Football Complex was named in the friends' honor at dedication ceremonies Friday afternoon.
"Making this gift was something that Alan and I had talked about doing for a while," said Davis, co-captain of the 1974 Tide squad. "It's a small gift for all the positives and great memories that we have from the University and the athletic program."
Pizzitola, a walk-on in 1972 who was voted All-SEC strong safety his senior season and Academic All-SEC for two seasons, echoes Davis's feelings. "It's an opportunity to give something back to the school where I learned so many lessons in life," he said. "There are things that Coach Bryant and the entire coaching staff taught me more than 30 years ago that I still use in my life today. Having the opportunity to play at Alabama opened so many doors for me, and this gift is just my way of saying Â`thank you' for that opportunity."
Davis and Pizzitola have used their Alabama upbringing to excel in the legal and business worlds. Following his All-SEC career at free safety, Davis played four years in the NFL with Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, and Kansas City. After his pro career, he attended law school and is today a highly successful attorney in West Palm Beach, Fla., representing several high-profile coaches in the college and professional ranks.
Pizzitola is the founder and CEO of Business Interiors, Inc. headquartered in Birmingham. Business Interiors is a contract furnishings dealership specializing in interior furnishings for corporations, health care facilities, and colleges and universities.
Davis's and Pizzitola's gifts are among more than $4 million of gifts received from former athletes and A-Club members. "The donations made by our former athletes are a real tribute to their support of our programs," said Mal Moore, Athletic Director. "I really appreciate Ricky and Alan for their generosity and their loyalty to us. They were fine players for us years ago, and today they're fine representatives of our University and our Athletic Department."
The naming of the Defensive Backs' Meeting Room is one of 125 naming opportunities available through gifts to the Crimson Tradition Fund, the Athletic Department's $120 million facilities improvement campaign that began in March 2002.