SBD/March 25, 2013/Colleges

Alabama Signs Bill Battle To Four-Year Contract As New AD

Battle played football at Alabama under
late coach Paul "Bear" Bryant

The Univ. of Alabama on Friday officially announced CLC Founder & Chair Bill Battle as the school's new AD, and the four-year agreement "calls for a salary of $620,000," according to Chase Goodbread of the TUSCALOOSA NEWS. Battle played under late UA coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and eventually got into coaching, but Battle left the "business in 1976 after seven seasons at Tennessee." He soon built CLC, which "grew to attract NCAA schools to license their logos for merchandising." Battle sold the business in '07, and had "settled into filling his days with consulting work." Battle said, "My first reaction was ‘Wow, this is a great honor. But do I really want to do this?' For the last two weeks that's what I've been wrestling with.” Battle: "I thought to myself, ‘If I didn't do this, I would regret it for the rest of my life'" (TUSCALOOSA NEWS, 3/23). The UA BOT said that Battle's contract is "very similar" to former AD Mal Moore, who stepped down last week due to health issues. UA announced that Moore will "serve as athletics director emeritus as well as a special assistant to UA President Judy Bonner when his health permits." Bonner said that discussions about Moore’s "eventual replacement, which included Moore, had been ongoing even before his latest health setback." Bonner said Moore provided “a good blueprint” for the skills and qualifications needed for the role (TUSCALOOSA NEWS, 3/23). A TUSCALOOSA NEWS editorial stated Moore leaves UA "in historically good condition." The football program, "both bellwether and cash cow for the athletics department, has won back-to-back national championships." Moore hired "arguably America’s best football coach" in Nick Saban to run it. Some might "seek to diminish the role Moore played by saying that Alabama is known for athletics." The editorial: "We would disagree. Prior to Moore’s tenure, it was known for football and gymnastics. Now it is known for athletics." Battle will do "a fine job. But no one will ever replace Mal Moore" (TUSCALOOSA NEWS, 3/24).
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