Friday, December 13, 2013

the last book I ever read (The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, excerpt twelve)

from The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian:

But Sam Jurgens and his family might not ever understand. The Jurgenses had family roots in Tuscaloosa stretching back five generations to 1840. Their ties to the university were deep. And Sam and his father had bonded by rooting for Alabama football. “Football in the South is like a civil religion,” Jurgens said. “A lot of people are very passionate about it and value it in ways not much different than religious congregations.”

The beating Jurgens took at the hands of Alabama football players certainly caused him to reconsider how much of an Alabama football fan he’d be in the future. But more troubling was the fact that he never heard one word of apology or concern from anyone associated with the program. “The university has been very supportive and reimbursed me for all of my losses and expenses,” Jurgens said. “But members of the football team sent me to the hospital and robbed me. But I’ve had no one from the football team—not a coach or anything—approach me.”

In the second week of April 2013—two months after the incident—Jurgens approached Alabama’s dean of student affairs and express a desire to speak to Coach Saban about his ordeal. “I still identify myself as an Alabama football fan,” Jurgens said. “I had so much fun with my father with it over the years. But no one should have to go through what I went through.”

Despite his ordeal, Jurgens said the athletic department informed him that no one from the football coaching staff would meet with him.

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