Young denies actions despite conviction

Updated: July 6, 2005, 9:13 PM ET
Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Former Alabama football booster Logan Young denies ever buying a player for the Crimson Tide despite his conviction in federal court for bribing a high school coach to get a top recruit.

Young, a Memphis businessman, also told The Birmingham News that allegations by Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer that he had steered a number of prospects to Alabama in the 1990s were "preposterous."

Young, 64, was convicted of paying Memphis high school coach Lynn Lang to steer recruit Albert Means to Alabama. Lang testified that Young paid $150,000 to land Means. In June, Young was sentenced to six months in prison and six months home confinement to be served after his release from prison, followed by two years of supervised release.

Young, who remains free pending appeal, said he's pleased with the sentence but still maintains his innocence.

"I didn't do it, but what the jury said I did is all that matters," he told News columnist Kevin Scarbinsky in a story Wednesday. "I was tickled pink with the sentence. That's the least it could have been."

He also said he is confident he will be healthy enough to get a kidney transplant by the end of August.

Alabama cut its ties to Young as an NCAA investigation involving him led to sanctions against the Tide football program. But Young disputed former Alabama assistant coach and player Jeff Rouzie's statement that legendary Tide coach Bear Bryant once warned his coaches to keep their distance from Young. In a column last week, Scarbinsky said Rouzie confirmed that he made the statement to the NCAA in 2001.

"That's not true. That's a lie," Young said. "... I know Coach Bryant didn't say it."

The Memphis businessman said he had a "special relationship" with Bryant.

Young, who did not testify in his criminal trial in Memphis, denied some of the allegations Fulmer made to NCAA investigators and then-Southeastern Conference commissioner Roy Kramer, including claims that Young bought a truck for defensive linemen Michael Myers and a house for defensive lineman Kindal Moorehead or his mother.

"It makes Fulmer look like a bigger liar than he already is," Young said. "He's over the edge. He threw everything on the wall and hoped some of it stuck."

Fulmer's attorney, Jeff Hagood, said Wednesday that Fulmer wasn't the only SEC coach who reported wrongdoing in Alabama's recruiting in the Memphis area. He said former Florida coach Steve Spurrier, now at South Carolina, as well as Arkansas coach Houston Nutt, former Mississippi coach David Cutcliffe and "a whole bunch of other coaches for a long time said the same thing."

"I pity Mr. Young and I hope his health improves," Hagood said. "But as I recall he had a bunch of fine lawyers and a fine trial judge and a jury of his peers listened for about a week and found him guilty in a couple of hours.

"And Phillip Fulmer sure didn't testify at his trial."

The NCAA's findings against Alabama didn't include many of the allegations lodged by Fulmer, which have come to light in a defamation lawsuit filed by two former Tide assistants in Tuscaloosa against the NCAA and others. That trial is set to begin Monday.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press