MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A former high school coach told a federal jury Wednesday that he got offers of money, a job and free law school for his wife before he accepted a $150,000 payoff to steer his best player to sign with Alabama.
Lynn Lang, the former head coach at Trezevant High School,
testified for the second day at the trial of Logan Young, a Memphis
millionaire who is on trial on federal bribery and money laundering
Lang is awaiting sentencing on a guilty plea to racketeering
conspiracy. He said he took the money to convince defensive lineman
Albert Means to sign with the Crimson Tide in 2000.
In testimony Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Lang said that
coaches at two other Southeastern Conference schools, Kentucky and
Georgia, gave him money. He also testified that Tennessee,
Mississippi, Michigan State and Arkansas offered money for Means
but never paid.
Under cross examination by defense lawyer James Neal on
Wednesday, Lang added Memphis to the list of schools that offered
him a deal, testifying that then-coach Rip Scherer said he would
arrange for Lang's wife to attend law school for free at the
Lang also told jurors that Arkansas offered him either an
assistant coaching job worth more than $80,000 a year or $150,000
in cash if he delivered Means and another player.
Means, who has not been accused of wrongdoing, previously
testified that he let Lang choose his college.
Lang said he began shopping Means around to various colleges in
1999 when he realized how many schools wanted him.
Lang testified that former Kentucky recruiting coordinator
Claude Bassett gave $7,000 for work at a camp and a Means visit to
campus, and that former Georgia head coach and current ESPN football analyst Jim Donnan gave $700
cash for work at a camp. He testified that Bill Harper, a Georgia
booster from Memphis, gave him a $100 bill.
But he said that when he was referred to Young by former Crimson
Tide assistant coach Ivy Williams, he started the bidding for Means
at $50,000. Young "took to it like water," Lang said.
Lang, who made less than $30,000 at Trezevant High, said he kept
upping the price until it reached $150,000, which he received in a
series of payments each smaller than $10,000, the threshold at
which bank transactions must be reported.
Young told him that since the payments were in cash, "If
anything happened, it was his word against mine," Lang testified.
Neal also questioned Lang about denials of taking a payoff he
made to federal investigators, the NCAA and officials with the
Memphis school system.
Means stayed at Alabama for one football season before
transferring to Memphis after reports of a payoff to Lang became
Alabama's recruitment of Means became part of an NCAA
investigation that led to sanctions in 2002 depriving the team of
scholarships and bowl eligibility.
Williams and Ronnie Cottrell, another assistant coach who lost
his job at Alabama after the investigation, have filed a $60
million defamation lawsuit against the NCAA over the investigation.