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'Bear' Bryant's lasting gift

January 4, 2010 | 12:26 pm

Bryant Sports columnist Jerry Crowe examines the legacy of legendary Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who established a scholarship fund in the early 1970s that is earmarked to benefit the sons and daughters of everyone who ever suited up for the coach.

Bryant retired in December 1982 and died in January 1983 of a heart attack. He was 69.

"More than 700 children of former Tide players have attended their fathers' alma mater on a Bryant Scholarship, says Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore, who estimates that about 90 were enrolled during the fall semester," Crowe wrote.

"All they have to do is apply and, upon admission, they are awarded as much as $4,000 a year to defray tuition costs, Moore says. This is true, the athletic director says, whether their father was an All-American linebacker or a fourth-string long snapper, a five-star recruit or a walk-on."

You can find the complete column here.

-- Keith Thursby

Photo: Paul "Bear" Bryant in 1971. Credit: Associated Press