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      Mike Shula: the Beginning of the End

      Because sooner or later most head football coaches in the South are fired or forced to resign, it's not too soon to start looking for the probable causes of Mike Shula's eventual and inevitable downfall. To begin with, Shula only won four games during his first year as Bama's head coach. Bama coaches who don't do a whole lot better than that are not going to be around for long. Another ominous sign of trouble for Shula is that he proved himself to be truly naive when he had Sylvester Croom's name removed from a team award given to one of the best players at last year's Spring practice. How could any adult in the South not realize that was a stupid and unnecessary thing to do? There was already controversy about why Shula, the white guy, was hired at Bama instead of Croom, the black guy. Coach Shula really must be slow if he doesn't realize that even a hint of racism can destroy a coach in the SEC. Worst of all, however, is the devastating loss of Brodie Croyle. Many Bama fans want to blame Shula for the season-ending injury to the young man who was starting quarterback at the beginning of the season. Why, they ask, was Croyle still playing late in the game when Bama already had an insurmountable 31 point lead? Why was Shula risking his star quarterback in a meaningless game which was already won? It still may be a year or two before Shula is sent packing, but we can already guess what kinds trouble will end Shula's career at Alabama.

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