Alabama Sports Figures Assisting With Tornado Relief And Recovery

Recovery efforts are ongoing throughout Alabama and other parts of the Southeast. For more on how you can help, visit Roll Bama Roll.

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14 Total Updates since April 27, 2011
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Julio Jones Visits Alabama Tornado Victims, Hoping To Raise Spirits

Atlanta Falcons rookie Julio Jones is touring tornado-damaged Tuscaloosa and Birmingham along with the Red Cross and former Alabama Crimson Tide teammates. The group is trying to boost morale, with Jones planning to distribute boxes of anything Under Armour makes that might be of use. The apparel company has sponsored Jones since before the NFL Combine and is his primary source of income due to the ongoing NFL lockout.

He says he extended an invite to former Georgia Bulldogs WR A.J. Green to come along as well.

His decision to go to New York for NFL Draft events was apparently a last-minute one, he says. He might've been very near the worst-affected parts of Tuscaloosa if he'd chosen to stick around instead of heading up.

Jones isn't missing any practice time to help out, as his still-recovering foot would've kept him out of the Falcons player-organized minicamp anyway.

For frequent coverage of Alabama's rebuilding and relief efforts, including more on things you can do to help out, join Roll Bama Roll.


SEC Donates $500,000 To Alabama Tornado Recovery Efforts

The Southeastern Conference has announced it will contribute $500,000 to the cause of rebuilding Alabama communities impacted by April 27 tornadoes. The donation will officially be given to the University of Alabama to assist affected faculty and students. Several member schools have already offered help on their own, including Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and South Carolina. And Penn State, too!

Conference commissioner Mike Slive on the donation:

The tornados that went through Tuscaloosa have severely impacted the lives of students, faculty and staff of the University of Alabama, and will continue to do so for months to come. We express our sympathies and prayers to everyone who has been impacted by this storm and we are pleased to be able to assist in the recovery efforts.    

For daily coverage of Alabama's rebuilding and relief efforts, including more on things you can do to help out, join Roll Bama Roll.


Carson Tinker Released From Hospital, Recovering From Injuries Suffered In Tornado

Carson Tinker, the Alabama Crimson Tide long snapper who was injured in the April 27 tornadoes that pounded the Southeast, has recovered enough to be released from the hospital, coach Nick Saban said. Tinker was flung from his home and suffered a broken wrist among other injuries, but the hardest part is still ahead for him, as his girlfriend lost her life in the storms.


Carson's good. He's going to take a little while to get healed up. He's also got some psychological trouble - he lost his girlfriend. It's tough on everybody.    

Tinker is a rising redshirt junior who played in one game during Alabama's 2009 national title run before taking over for long-time snapper Brian Selman in 2010, handling all special teams snapping duties.

For daily coverage of Alabama's rebuilding and relief efforts, including more on things you can do to help out, join Roll Bama Roll.


PHOTO: Charles Barkley Among Alabama Athletes Helping With Tornado Relief

The horrific crash of tornadoes that swept the Southeast last week has brought together Auburn Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide alumni, fans and athletes like nothing before. Nick Saban and Gene Chizik joined Cam Newton, Marcell Dareus and others for a moment of silence at the beginning of the 2011 NFL Draft, Gene Stallings was spotted grilling for hungry victims and recent draftee James Carpenter's first instinct upon getting money was to help Tuscaloosa.

Add another Auburn name to the list: War Eagle basketball legend and Alabama native Charles Barkley was spotted on an elementary school campus near Samford University in Birmingham, helping to deal supplies out of the back of a truck on Saturday: 


Thanks to Chuck's recent Crossfit workouts in Atlanta, he'll be able to keep those boxes moving for hours. He'll need to head back east for NBA playoffs coverage soon, but it's good to see he was able to help out on the ground.

For daily coverage of Alabama's rebuilding and relief efforts, join Roll Bama Roll.


Carson Tinker's Girlfriend Ashley Harrison Killed In Alabama Tornado, According To Report

A University of Alabama student identified as 22-year-old Ashley Harrison lost her life in Wednesday's swell of tornado activity across Alabama, according to a report by My FOX Alabama. Harrison was reportedly the girlfriend of Alabama Crimson Tide long snapper Carson Tinker.

Tinker himself was injured in the storm, with coach Nick Saban saying the 220-pound offensive lineman was flung 50 feet from his house. Saban didn't mention anything about the rest of Tinker's terrible situation, perhaps out of respect for the tragedy his player is facing right now.

Harrison was found Thursday morning according to the report, and is reportedly the first Alabama student to have been found deceased due to the storm.

This is the first report I've heard of an athlete losing someone to this week's disaster. Most of the state's other sports figures are likely enduring one hardship or another, but this story is as tough as it gets.


Alabama Tornadoes Postpone Auburn White House Trip, Injure Carson Tinker, Damage Ed McClure's Home

The effects of Wednesday night's disastrous tornado activity throughout Alabama are still being realized, with many in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and elsewhere without power, searching for missing loved ones or far worse. Many of the area's athletes were likely affected in one way or another, but here are a few we know about.

Alabama Crimson Tide long snapper Carson Tinker was thrown 50 feet from his home, according to Nick Saban. He was hurt, but is expected to recover. That's a 220-pound man being hurled almost a fifth of a football field through the air, which provides about as scary an idea as you can find of how powerful those storms were.

NASCAR driver Ed McClure's Virginia home was demolished, but his family made it out OK.

Far less tragic, but still disappointing for the families involved, is the necessary postponement of Auburn's trip to meet President Barack Obama at the White House in celebration of their national title.

Other Alabama sports figures have been able to pitch in and start helping -- former Alabama coach Gene Stallings is grilling food for people, and Saban was reportedly driving around and distributing water, to name a pair.


Tornado Photos, Videos, Relief Info Shared En Masse By Alabama Fans At Roll Bama Roll

SB Nation's Alabama Crimson Tide community, Roll Bama Roll, has functioned as a gathering place for Alabamans since late Wednesday, with members meeting to share pictures and videos of damage caused by a massive surge of tornadoes throughout the state. RBR also shared a link to the Red Cross' Alabama tornado relief donation page.

The post thread contains hundreds of comments, a couple dozen photos, links to tons of videos and live streams and news articles, reports from affected areas and people checking in. It's an incredible read, and likely one of the most comprehensive documents you'll find anywhere on the scope and severity of the tornado.

Our Auburn Tigers blog, Track Em Tigers, later set up a thread of its own, which isn't quite as extensive but will still likely fill up with more throughout the day Thursday.

It's a story that isn't about sports, but as these two sports blog communities show, sometimes the bonds formed through sports are strong enough to hold even in the worst moments.


Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium Undamaged In Tuscaloosa Tornado Outbreak

Wednesday night a series of tornadoes tore across the Southeast, with most of the worst damage reserved for Alabama. Tuscaloosa was hit especially hard, with the University of Alabama forced to cancel classes and other daily operations for Thursday.

One consolation for Alabama Crimson Tide fans: Bryant-Denny Stadium was spared damage, according to Bama head softball coach Patrick Murphy. At one point an enormous tornado veered perilously close to the facility, with a nearby observer capturing video of it from the third floor of a campus apartment. It looked to be very close to the stadium, but Murphy says the storm missed it by about half a mile to the south, with not even a banner harmed. Half a mile isn't a very big distance at all, considering how huge those twisters were.

For most communities, the condition of the football stadium would be an afterthought, but for most Tuscaloosa citizens it has to be at least somewhat comforting to know that the area's pride and joy survived a terrible night.

To talk with other Alabama fans, join Roll Bama Roll.


VIDEO: Tuscaloosa Tornado Nearing Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium

Tuscaloosa, Alabama and other parts of the state have been rocked by tornados and strong storms for much of Wednesday. The damage is already horrific -- at least five people have already lost their lives, many are without power, a hospital was struck and property damage is soaring. The storms are expected to continue throughout the night, and they could only be getting stronger.

Here's a video via @itsColeJohnson of one of the twisters passing very near Alabama Crimson Tide football's Bryant-Denny Stadium. That's an enormous facility, and while there's no telling exactly how close the tornado is to the building, it still gives some terrifying sense of scale.  

It doesn't sound like any major damage met the stadium. We can only hope the worst of the storms have already passed. The bad weather looks like it's going to spread across much of the Southeast, with most of it likely just missing Atlanta to the north.

Our Alabama community, Roll Bama Roll, is talking about the widespread disaster, sharing pictures and video.

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