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Ryan Cooper | NCAA.com | September 23, 2016

Alabama player's mom receives birthday flowers from Saban

Alabama coach Nick Saban might have a bit of a reputation as a curmudgeon, but he showed off his big heart with a birthday gift to a player's mother who is battling breast cancer.

The story of Saban's kindness toward sophomore Mike Bernier and his family began in April when he added the punter as a preferred walk-on. Bernier was the starting punter at Eastern Illinois and under scholarship, but he gave it up and sought transfer in order to be closer to his home in Madison, Alabama, after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Saban took him in to make that happen, which led to his gesture earlier in the week on Sonja Bernier's birthday.

"Thinking of you and sending all good wishes...Roll Sonja!" the note reads, and it is signed "Nick and Terry Saban and your Alabama football family."

From the start, this has been a beautiful story, and we wish a happy belated birthday and a continued successful recovery to Mrs. Bernier.

(h/t Saturday Down South)

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