MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- A federal grand jury charged a wealthy
Memphis businessman Thursday with paying $150,000 to have a
promising football player attend the University of Alabama.
Logan Young is accused in a three-count indictment with
conspiracy, crossing state lines to commit racketeering and
arranging bank withdrawals to cover up a crime. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was released without bond
"We will fight these charges, and that's all I'm going to
say," said his lawyer, James Neal of Nashville.
Young is accused of conspiring with former Trezevant High
School coach Lynn Lang and others to influence Albert Means, a highly recruited
defensive lineman, to accept an athletic scholarship with Alabama.
Shortly after the indictment was released, Young entered a plea
of innocent before a federal magistrate and was released without
Each of the charges in the indictment carries a maximum
punishment of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, though
federal guidelines would call for a lighter sentence upon
Authorities say Means apparently knew nothing about the scheme.
He played one season at Alabama before transferring to the
University of Memphis to be closer to his family. He is still a member of the Memphis football team. Means' family has said he looked up to Lang as a father figure
and relied on his advice while deciding which college to attend in
Means refuses to talk with the news media, but Memphis coach
Tommy West said he has put the scandal behind him and is a valued
member of the team.
"Albert didn't have anything to do with it, and as far as we're
concerned it's over with Albert," West told WMC-TV.
The Means scandal became part of an NCAA investigation that last
year put Alabama on five years' probation, banned it from bowl
games for two seasons and reduced the number of football
scholarships the university can award.
The university, which refused comment on the indictment, has
disassociated itself from Young, a longtime booster and friend of
Alabama athletic director Mal Moore.
Lang pleaded guilty last year to a federal conspiracy charge and
is awaiting sentencing. That charge also carries a maximum penalty
of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Lang, who has been
cooperating with authorities since his plea, is likely to draw a
much lighter sentence, however.
Milton Kirk, Lang's former assistant coach at Trezevant High,
also has pleaded guilty to taking part in the scheme. He was
sentenced to probation, a $1,000 fine and community service.
Kirk first exposed the allegations against Lang in interviews
with The Commercial Appeal newspaper in January 2001.
With his guilty plea, Lang acknowledged he was referred to Young
by Ivy Williams, a former Alabama assistant, and that he discussed
the deal with Ronnie Cottrell, a former Alabama recruiting
Lang also acknowledged taking part in finding a stand-in to take
the college entrance exam for Means.