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Dr. Saturday

Headlinin’: Trooper Taylor claims world’s first presidential chest bump for Auburn

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

Making the morning rounds.

Welcome to Washington, dawg. The White House's official blog went to the trouble of posting the entirety of Barack Obama's remarks to Auburn Wednesday during the president's annual visit with the defending BCS champs, including his insistence that he made time to watch the Tigers' "unbelievable" comeback at Alabama last November:

But it didn't include any answer to the really pressing question of the day: Was Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor — noted recruiter, towel-waver and ham actor — on the receiving end of what may be the world's first presidential chest bump? Multiple Twitter accounts reported the bump, and the War Eagle Reader offers compelling visual evidence:

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(See also here and here.) And another twist: According to whoever is behind Auburn's official athletic Twitter account, the bump appeared to be initiated not by the ever-excitable coach, but by Mr. Cool and Collected himself. Although, to be fair, I'm reasonably certain that's how Obama greets foreign dignitaries and most his cabinet, as well — except, of course, for Hillary Clinton, who always insists on the time-honored formality of the Homie Handshake. [WhiteHouse.gov, al.com, @AUAthletics, War Eagle Reader]

Army Strong. The U.S. Military Academy at West Point has released not one but two official statements this week defending its decision to discipline former Army cornerback Richard King, who was suspended from the academy and deployed to active duty after being attacked by two bodyguards working for R&B diva Patti LaBelle outside a Houston airport earlier this year. Tuesday, the academy said it had "completed a thorough investigation" of the incident and determined that "the Academy chain of command took appropriate action in accordance with Army Regulation 210-26" in disciplining King. Wednesday, another release alluded to "some misconceptions" about King's suspension, and indicated the altercation in Houston may not have been the only reason for the decision: "The U.S. Military Academy's chain of command reviewed former cadet King's complete record of performance and conduct over his 47 months. Based on that review, he was separated."

The academy won't offer further details, but a West Point spokesman told the Times-Herald Record in New York that King is in the process of being assigned to an Army unit and will serve as an enlisted soldier, but can reapply for admission to West Point after completing an 18-month mentorship program during his tour. "The ball's in Rich's court now," he said. [Times-Herald Record, Houston Chronicle]{YSP:MORE}

Stay tuned. Former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson was in Madison, Wis. Wednesday for a visit one campus source described as "a grand slam" in the Badgers' pursuit of the nation's No. 1 free-agent quarterback. Rumors swirled throughout the evening that Wilson committed to Wisconsin during the trip, a decision that — in light of Wisky's struggles at QB during the spring and other recent events in the conference — might thrust the Badgers to the top of the preseason polls in the Big Ten. But as of this morning there has been no official announcement or confirmation from a reliable source. [Wisconsin State Journal, Bucky's 5th Quarter]

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Comings and goings, part one. Tennessee defensive tackle Montori Hughes has been booted from the team, according to coach Derek Dooley, likely for persistent academic issues. Hughes was one of the players specifically cited by the victim of a wild bar brawl involving more than a dozen Vols last summer, which ultimately resulted in no charges or suspensions and a single dismissal from the team. Hughes subsequently started the first five games of the 2010 season and played in the first 11 before being suspended for the regular season finale for academics; he did, however, return for the bowl game. [WBIR]

Comings and goings, part two. Patrick Bade, a regular on the Purdue hoops teams with 58 appearances and four starts at forward over the last two years, is giving up basketball to join the Boilermaker football team as a tight end after three years away from the sport. The 6-foot-8, 230-pound junior-to-be didn't play football as a senior in high school in Indianapolis, but coach Danny Hope said he was impressed with film from Bade's junior year — Maryland and Boston College reportedly offered football scholarships — and hopes he can contribute immediately at a thin position. He'll have two years of eligibility. [West Lafayette Journal and Courier, Associated Press]

Comings and goings, part three. Oklahoma defensive tackle Daniel Noble's football career is apparently over after just one season in Norman due to the lingering effects of a concussion. Noble quickly worked his way into the defensive line rotation as a true freshman, but missed the entire second half of the season after a taking a big hit in the Sooners' blowout win over Iowa State in mid-October. [The Oklahoman]

Quickly… Phillip Fulmer is open to the possibility of perhaps considering a potential return to Tennessee as athletic director. (Personally, I'm throwing my weight behind Dolly Parton.) … Buckeye fans ponder what to do with their No. 2 jerseys. … In a role reversal, Wisconsin is getting $1 million to visit a MAC team, albeit in Soldier Stadium. … Alabama gets its first commitment for 2013. … And you expect this kind of thing from Wolverine fans, but when even Adult Swim is taking gratuitous shots at Ohio State, you know it's bad.

Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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