Shaq applauds Saban, Tide national title while filming PSA in Tuscaloosa

Shaq posed for photos before leaving Tuscaloosa on Friday.

Shaquille O’Neal graduated from LSU, but that didn’t keep him from directing an anti-binge drinking commercial Friday in Tuscaloosa. Read all about the experience here…

TUSCALOOSA — He posed for every picture and signed all the autographs, but one request crossed the line.

Shaquille O’Neal would not drop a “Roll Tide” for anything. He is, after all, an LSU grad.

The deadpan 7-foot-1 and retired basketball player spent Friday in Tuscaloosa directing a public service announcement with University of Alabama students. He wasn’t converting allegiances, but said he had the ultimate respect for Crimson Tide sports.

Even his alma mater’s BCS experience didn’t deter him from entering enemy territory.

“In the world of competition, you guys beat us fair and square,” O’Neal said. “That’s what makes the SEC so good. The whole year it was Alabama No. 1 and LSU No. 1. OK, we beat Alabama the first time, but if Alabama wins this game … it was a soap opera the whole year. Coach (Nick) Saban does what he always does. He leads his team to victory.”

Friday’s trip was about more than football and rivalries.

The film school graduate directed a television commercial aimed at preventing binge drinking on college campuses. He partnered with the LessThanUThink, an anti-binge drinking student campaign, to produce the PSA.

Austin High graduate Crystal Deuel wrote the storyboard O’Neal used to direct the commercial.

Click here or here for the complete story.

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