Nate Oats Receives Class Ring on Behalf of Luke Ratliff
The University of Alabama presented graduating seniors with class rings on Wednesday as the semester is drawing to a close. Alabama head basketball coach Nate Oats was a surprise guest at the event. According to Jim Zig Zeigler, State Auditor of Alabama, Oats was there to pick up the class ring of recently deceased senior superfan Cameron Luke "Fluffopotamus" Ratliff.
It's been well documented the special relationship that formed between Ratliff and the Alabama program. The 23-year old senior from Wadesboro brought his passion to Tuscaloosa and spread it like wildfire. He served as president of "Crimson Chaos", the Alabama student section, for the past three seasons.
Ratliff attended 44 of Alabama's last 45 conference and post-season games including the last 42 straight. He was known for his plaid jacket that he wore as an homage to Crimson Tide legend Wimp Sanderson. When he wore out the original jacket, Alabama assistants Bryan Hodgson and Antoine Pettway purchased him a new one.
On top of leading Crimson Tide nation at Alabama home games, Ratliff was well known for agitating opposing conference coaches. He had a special affinity for disparaging Alabama rivals Will Wade and Bruce Pearl.
While his life was tragically lost due to complications of COVID-19, Ratliff's legacy lives on in each member of Alabama nation. Oats receiving Ratliff's class ring on behalf of his family shows that Ratliff not only valued the Bama basketball program, but the program also valued him and what he meant to the Crimson Tide culture.
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