Alabama athletics director Bill Battle announced on Tuesday that he is taking a leave of absence to undergo cancer treatment.
Other SEC athletics directors, including Auburn’s Jay Jacobs, Arkansas’ Jeff Long and Mississippi State’s Scott Stricklin, took to social media after the news to encourage Battle as he goes through the ordeal.
Prayers for my friend, Bill Battle, as he steps away for a few weeks for cancer treatment. Best wishes for a swift return.@UA_Athletics
— Jay Jacobs (@jayjacobsauad) June 21, 2016
Thoughts & well wishes for Bama AD Bill Battle as he continues his fight against cancer. Have utmost respect for Bill as a friend & leader
— Jeff Long (@jefflongUA) June 22, 2016
Prayers for Coach Battle, a true gentlemen and friend. https://t.co/MP3YOWdenU
— Scott Stricklin (@stricklinMSU) June 22, 2016
Battle will undergo a stem cell transplant as part of treatment for multiple myeloma at The Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Center at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, Alabama announced in a statement. The procedure will be supervised by supervision of Sagar Lonial, M.D., who expects Battle to make a full recovery in time to return to the Crimson Tide program in the upcoming weeks.
“In the spring of 2014, I was diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer,” Battle said in a press release. “Subsequent to that diagnosis my wife, Mary, and I visited with doctors at The University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas; the Lewis and Faye Manderson Cancer Center at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa; and the Winship Cancer Institute to determine the best treatment options. I am very comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment plan. I am looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing my active lifestyle, as well as continuing to lead our Athletics Department. My experience has made it clear to me that cancer can be a treatable disease that can be dealt with while maintaining a high quality of life.”