MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer secretly
provided damaging information about Alabama to the NCAA, according
to a lawyer for two former Crimson Tide football coaches suing the
Court documents show Fulmer twice called NCAA staffer Rich
Johanningmeier, who was probing alleged wrongdoing at Alabama in
2000, and gave him information implicating the Tide in rules
violations, according to attorney Tommy Gallion.
Gallion, a Montgomery lawyer who represents former Alabama
assistants Ronnie Cottrell and Ivy Williams, contends the NCAA
ignored violations at Tennessee in exchange for Fulmer's help in
the case against Alabama.
"They buried everything at Tennessee and they went after
Alabama based on what Phillip Fulmer said," said Gallion.
The documents, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, surfaced
in federal court in Memphis, Tenn., where former Alabama booster
Logan Young is awaiting trial in the recruiting scandal. A motion
filed by Young's attorney cleared the way for the release of the
records Monday, including notes by the NCAA investigator who asked
that Fulmer's name be kept secret.
Fulmer declined comment Thursday, citing the ongoing federal
"Since it involves a federal investigation in Memphis that
doesn't involve the University of Tennessee, I think it is
inappropriate for me to comment," UT athletic director Mike
Hamilton said Friday.
NCAA spokesman Jeff Howard criticized the public release of the
"The association is very disappointed with the cavalier way
documents -- including confidential interviews -- have been handled
by some attorneys involved in these matters," Howard said.
"Making such document public has jeopardized the fair treatment of
these coaches and their institutions."
Young was indicted in October on conspiracy charges for
allegedly paying $150,000 to have a promising recruit attend
Alabama. That same allegation was a key part of the NCAA case that
led to the Tide being placed on probation.
Cottrell and Williams have filed a $60 million lawsuit against
the NCAA and others claiming they were incorrectly accused of
wrongdoing in the Alabama investigation.
The NCAA two years ago placed Alabama on five years of
probation, banned it from bowls for two years and imposed heavy
scholarship reductions for recruiting violations.
The Tide contested charges that boosters made five-figure
payments to lure two recruits to Tuscaloosa, but it admitted other
violations and imposed penalties on itself.
Nothing in NCAA rules prohibits coaches from supplying
information on rival schools on a confidential basis. But Gallion
said he can prove that "85 percent" of the charges leveled
against Alabama were fabricated.
The NCAA informed Alabama last week it would not face any more
sanctions linked to the recruiting scandal. Both that letter and
the claims by Gallion were made public at the height of recruiting