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Alabama's Nick Saban backs off talk of Penn State tax for abuse victims

HOOVER, Ala. — In the aftermath of the child sexual-abuse scandal at Penn State, healing might be more beneficial than trying to penalize.

That was the message from Alabama coach Nick Saban as he spoke Thursday morning at SEC media days. Between questions about the Tide's tough opening game against Michigan and how to keep his defending national champion team focused, Saban was asked about his suggestion that a tax or surcharge be levied on athletic-event tickets at Penn State and giving the proceeds to child abuse victims. Saban said it's not his place to tell Penn State what to do but said the scandal provides a bigger lesson for everyone.

"This is obviously a very criminal thing that occurred there," he said. "But, you know, I just kind of think of things like this because I think of it with players a lot: We all think that discipline is punishment. How are we going to punish someone? What I always try to think of is, you know, what do we want the outcome to be? If there's some kind of way that we could create a win-win, and I don't really know what that is, I just threw out a tax on every ticket at every athletic event and donate all the money to organizations that prevent child abuse, (it) would be more of a win-win than worrying about punishing someone.

"Probably not a very good idea, and I probably shouldn't have said it. I just think that more focus on outcome is always more beneficial that might create a situation in the future that would be beneficial to someone."

PRESEASON PREDICTIONS: Will Muschamp might want to pull that cellphone out and start texting again.

One week after the Florida coach sent a text message to his players about having only one first-team selection, K Caleb Sturgis, on the coaches' All-SEC team, the SEC media followed suit by making Sturgis its only UF All-SEC first-teamer. DB Matt Elam was a second-team selection, and DL Sharrif Floyd and DL Dominique Easley were on third-team. OL Xavier Nixon was a third-team selection, the only Florida offensive player selected. Andre Debose was selected to the third team as a return specialist.

Florida was predicted to finish third in the SEC East, behind Georgia and South Carolina. Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky round out the predicted finish.

LSU was an overwhelming favorite to win the West and become the SEC champion. The last time the Tigers were predicted to win the SEC was 2007, when they won the BCS national championship.

Georgia QB Aaron Murray (Plant High) was named to the All-SEC second team, and Missouri OL Elvis Fisher (St. Petersburg Catholic) was named to the third team.

TAKE THAT: This week, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier joked that if he was in charge of the Gamecocks' scheduling, he would be playing Ole Miss instead of LSU. New Mississippi coach Huge Freeze didn't appreciate that. "I heard he said something to that regard," Freeze said. "I guess my thought would be 2013 they're on our schedule. We will circle that date and maybe change his perspective about what he thinks about Ole Miss football."

Alabama's Nick Saban backs off talk of Penn State tax for abuse victims 07/19/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 20, 2012 12:00am]
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