Hero or tattletale?

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by Atltiger, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. Atltiger

    Atltiger Founding Member

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    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/writers/mike_fish/01/23/bama.tenn.feud/index.html

    Depending on where you stand, Phillip Fulmer is either an honest, stand-up guy or a blubbering tattletale bent on keeping the heat off his own Tennessee football program.

    Fulmer ratted out storied rival Alabama, no doubt. And that's understandably got Tide faithful up in arms; they've branded the Tennessee coach a low-life fink and an assortment of other colorful descriptions not fit for print.

    Folks in Tuscaloosa believe college coaches shouldn't run off squealing like a pig to the NCAA. Maybe not, but they do. I can say this from first-hand experience, having had coaches put me onto a story while they had the NCAA on the other line. You just never hear an informant identified because the NCAA keeps everything private. It only came out here after an NCAA investigator's notes became part of a federal case.

    So what is coaching etiquette, anyway? If there's an issue, you're supposed to first call the other head coach -- and no one knows whether that happened here. But after that, says Grant Teaff, head of the American Football Coaches Association, it's not uncommon for coaches to contact the NCAA.

    "I can assure you when I was coaching, if I knew anything I sure as heck told the NCAA, because we were suffering at the hands of those who weren't doing it by the rules," said Teaff, Baylor's head coach during the scandal-ridden 1980s. "I did not hesitate because investigators come around and ask you all these questions. Did you know about this? So if you don't give them the facts, you jeopardize yourself."

    As far as he can tell, says Teaff, Fulmer did the right thing.

    But Fulmer didn't simply make a phone call to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. He was an active participant in the investigation. At one point in the summer of 2000, for example, he spent eight hours in Chattanooga, Tenn., persuading Internet recruiting analyst Tom Culpepper to cooperate in the probe against Alabama.

    Some of this gritty detail surfaced recently in documents released after a three-year federal grand jury investigation into the recruiting of former Memphis high school star Albert Means, a key figure in the NCAA probe that led to the Tide being placed on five years' probation. Alabama booster Logan Young was indicted in October, accused of paying $150,000 to lure Means to Tuscaloosa. Two Alabama assistant coaches, Ronnie Cottrell and Ivy Williams, were fired during the NCAA probe and have since filed lawsuits.

    Fueling the flames is Tommy Gallion, the Montgomery attorney representing the dismissed assistants. Gallion has pitched a bevy of conspiracy theories to the media -- some worth investigating and others pure rubbish -- and is bent on bringing down Fulmer's football program.

    A familiar Gallion rant puts former Southeastern Conference commissioner Roy Kramer behind Alabama's probation. But no matter how deep his Tennessee roots or your opinion of Kramer, it would have been goofy and fiscally irresponsible of him to bring down a marquee SEC program. The same can be said for the theory that Fulmer cut a deal with the NCAA to give his Vols program a pass in return for helping get Alabama.

    The tantalizing description of Fulmer as a "secret witness" is also misleading. In fact, SI.com has learned there were no secret witnesses in the 'Bama case. A "confidential source" did appear when the case was heard by the Committee on Infractions -- but it wasn't Fulmer.

    Further, that source was identified to the university. Alabama officials subsequently interviewed him and signed off on his appearance before the Committee on Infractions.

    It's also worth noting that while Gallion's rhetoric may resonate with some Tide loyalists, university administration doesn't endorse or have anything to do with his maverick efforts. This is an unofficial war between UT and 'Bama alums. UT boosters in Memphis clearly started it and, as Gallion sees it, he's just returning fire.

    Gallion has had investigators digging up dirt on Tennessee for months, the most intriguing allegation being that the football program fixed or concealed positive drug tests. The attorney plans to drop his latest bag of dirty laundry at the doorstep of the UT legal counsel, perhaps as early as Monday.

    NCAA investigators are eager to see Gallion's body of work, and something tells us they soon will. Fulmer has refused to comment on the counter charges, citing the ongoing federal investigation in Memphis.

    However, it's clearly payback time in the eyes of Gallion, who is taking dead aim at Fulmer.

    "I'm getting ready to pop that fat bastard as hard as I can," the attorney said. "I'm a peculiar person. If you sin, that is your business. But don't be out there doing bad things and turn around and accuse other people of doing the same thing you are doing. Hypocrisy, to me, is the absolute worst."

    We'll buy that, but don't blame the man for 'Bama's misdeeds. Then again, if Fulmer has cheated his program deserves to get exposed, too.
     
  2. SabanFan

    SabanFan The voice of reason

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    Strong stuff.
     
  3. Sourdoughman

    Sourdoughman TigerFan of LSU and the Tigerman

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    How do you figure he's honest??

    If i'm not mistaken he had some football players that had their grades fixed or something like that happened not to long ago.

    I remember hearing something about it.
     
  4. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    Nobody loves a snitch.
     
  5. bayoutider

    bayoutider Freshman

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    That information is not completely accurate. There were secret witnesses and Mike Fish was called on his statement by Cecil Hurt. It is documented evidence that there were more than one secret witness used against Alabama and the use of some went against NCAA bylaws. I can post those bylaws if anyone should doubt them. Phillip Fullmer, Tom Culpepper and Karl Sledgewick were all secret witnesses used against Alabama. There may be more. Alabama agreed to letting the NCAA use one secret witness and they went beyond that agreement.

    Now before the flamers jump on me again let me clairify that The University of Alabama is not in this fight. They have no claim to any benefit gained by Ronny Cottrell, Ivy Williams or Logan Young or any benefit from any other suit that may occur and there are more. And I am not here to try and convince anyone of our innocence. Just to state the facts as I know them.

    A lot of people say that Alabama admitted guilt to all the charges. Not so. I can post a list of the charges and the universities reply to each. Alabama did not plead guilty to any major infraction. The university was not given the dreaded LOIC or FTM charge but were handed the most severe penalties due to statements made by secret witnesses, witnesses who neither Alabama or their legal council could cross examin. So to say that NO secret witnesses were used is a lie or misconseption, chose whichever wording you may. Mike Fish is misinformed but Cecil Hurt enlightened him.

    What do Alabama fans think of all this? Well, when Alabama was being tried by the media it seemed fine to everyone. They said Alabama got what they deserved. Did we? Exactly what was proven with hard fact in our case. Not much. There still is no money trail connecting Logan Young to Lynn Lang. They have bank withdrawals but where is Lang's bank deposits? Maybe Lang is carrying $150,000 around in his shoe. Milton Kirk changed his story as often as some people change their socks. Karl Sledgewick is a convicted criminal (mail fraud), the rest of the gang had an axe to grind.

    Is it pure conspiracy? I'm not a judge but there are a lot of coincidences and it is certainly strange when you connect all the people and the rolls they played. The complete story reads like a soap opera and is really too daunting of a task to repeat all of it in one post. If anyone is interested there are plenty of articles to read online, there are plenty of posts on some of the Alabama message boards and a google search will bring you to several of the past events. If you are interested, fine. If not fine again. I will not spend a lot of time argueing whether we were guilty or not, that is history and not the issue. The issues are did the NCAA punish Alabama fairly, did they try the case fairly, have they ruined the careers of 2 ex-Alabama coaches unfairly, have they brought bogus charges against Logan Young and did coach fullmer and other secret witnesses make charges that were untrue to the ncaa.

    The most damning evidence is the "Show Cause" against Ronnie Cottrell. The NCAA did not hand down a show cause against any Alabama coach yet it was found on their website the NCAA did have "Show Cause" against Ronnie Cottrell. That charge has been removed from their website but the evidence was noted by the prosicution and they have a letter from the NCAA stating it was a clerical mistake.

    I will answere any intelligent reply but no flames.
     
  6. NMTiger

    NMTiger Freshman

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    I got no love for Phil. I personally think the guy is a worm for doing what he did.
     
  7. TexasTigers

    TexasTigers Are You With Me ?

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    If he was a saint maybe he is legitimate BUT UT has had some VERY shady things going on. T Martin getting money just to name a one.


    Bottom Line, People in glass houses should not throw rocks.

    I am glad LSU was not involved in this in now way. If he was truly in the SEC fraternity he would have gone to Bama or at least the coach......

    All programs have issues (Yes LSU does to) some minor (PLayers selling tickets, or rings) your QB getting money from a booster (UT)
    Arkanasas - Well that is to much to list

    Fact is Fulmer is a little snivling snitch the way I see it.
     
  8. TexasTigers

    TexasTigers Are You With Me ?

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    Great Post BayouTider. Hopefully this can be a decent thread where there is some good debate.

    Glad you stopped by....

    I saw on Tidefans.com there is rumor ANOTHER SEC coach was involved..

    Has there been any idea who (We know it was not Saban ;) )

    Geaux Tigers
     
  9. bayoutider

    bayoutider Freshman

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    TT, you know how much we hate rumors :D We don't start or support such. But there are some trains of thought as to who else was in on this. One thought is David Cutcliff but I just don't know if he would be low enough to tell any lies abut his alma mater. Another is Houston Nutt which is a definate possibility especially after you look at what they recently got as sanctions from the NCAA, can you say slap on the hand? And another is Rip Scherer
     
  10. DJ

    DJ Freshman

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    Phat Phil is like the drug dealer who cuts a deal with the cops in exchange for snitching on a rival gang. The NCAA has done nothing to Tennessee despite evidence of serious violations. He has done everything he accused Bama of committing, and more:

    1) Documented payments to Tee Martin--and the NCAA did nothing.

    2) Academic shenanagins reported by Linda Bensel-Myers--The University of Tennessee responds by pretending to investigate and shoves the entire issue under a nearby rug. It wasn't okay for Georgia to have its basketball players get free grades in a nothing course, but the NCAA takes a raincheck on a more systematic situation at Tennessee.

    3) Last year, when a UT player was accused of sexual assault, Phat Phil and his lawyer actually went to shake down a key witness. You can just imagine the conversation--"You know ole [fill in name of offender] is a nice guy, and he wouldn't do anything like that, but if you tell the police that you don't clearly remember what happened, tell your mom to see the man at the bank and he'll help her get out of that apartment and into a real house." That is a crime in most states--Tony Soprano stuff. The prosecutor complains to the press about Phil's witness tampering, but for reasons one can figure out, nothing in the way of a criminal prosecution happens to Phil.

    Yeah, Phat Phil is a real man of principle.

    Also, in the previews of coming attractions department, since Richt and Saban are going to be making Phil irrelevant over the next few years in terms of competing for SEC championships, look for Phil to complain to the NCAA about LSU and UGA. I don't know what he'll complain about, but I doubt that the truth will be an obstacle.
     

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