Blog ... Fulmer Mystery Subpoena Solved
The media circus at the Hoover took a turn after Phillip Fulmer was the focus by a relentless media when news surfaced that he was served with a subpoena after arriving at the SEC Media Days - Day 2.
By: BE Coleman
Hoover, AL – The mystery involving a missing subpoena has been solved. The media circus at the Wynfrey took a turn after Phillip Fulmer was the focus by the relentless media when news surfaced that he was served with a subpoena after arriving at the SEC Media Days - Day 2.
Fulmer said he had not seen a subpoena earlier in the day. The Vols coach and new grandfather was all about business as he was ready to talk about his team in earnest and not about subpoenas.
It was discovered later by Fulmer that he had been served with the paper work, but handed it off to UT SID Bud Ford. Fulmer found the subpoena as he was preparing to leave the town.
Fulmer went about his business while doing a doing radio talk show on WUMP AM 730 Thursday. Fulmer was said to have been served with a subpoena to testify in the former Alabama booster scandal of Wendell Smith's in a lawsuit against the NCAA and by others when he arrived at the Wynfrey Hotel.
"I didn't see anyone in particular who wasn't a fan or wanting an autograph that I recognized," said Fulmer "I didn't see anything. You guys are asking me about something I really don't know anything about at this particular point."
Brandon Blankenship a lawyer for former Alabama booster Wendell Smith, says that Fulmer was handed a subpoena by a local process server as the UT coach stepped out of an SUV at the hotel where the pre season conference outlooks and interviews were being held.
It is only a theory, Fulmer may be saying he did not receive a subpoena to keep outside distractions from interrupting the SEC Media Days and his speech concerning the Volunteers 2008 outlook.
Fulmer's personal attorney Jeff Hagood of Knoxville called it "an ambush." An ambush or not it was an highly unethical approach. The situation turned fiasco and lacked resolve in the manner that it had been conducted under.
Somehow – someway – someone contacted the media in Alabama with the news that Fulmer had been served a subpoena. The mystery began as local media sought out Fulmer on a quest.
While Fulmer says he received nothing, a clerk in Jackson County is said to be confirming that the subpoena was issued Wednesday. The clerk said Fulmer was ordered to appear in Birmingham.
The date is two days before Tennessee plays at Auburn; Blankenship said they picked it because they knew Fulmer would be in Alabama.
Is Fulmer actually required to show up in another state is yet another jurisdiction issue that his Knoxville attorney Hagood with wrangle with.
The subpoena requires Fulmer to appear two days before the Auburn contest on the 25th of September.
The timing is not good with Tennessee entertaining Florida the week before having to trek down to Auburn for the big game with the Tigers. Earlier in the day Fulmer said he knew nothing of a subpoena.
"A couple of guys have asked me about that and I haven't seen anything like that," he said. "We spent three or four years ago putting up with all of the nonsense and it has nothing to do with football and the Southeastern Conference.
"And darn if I'm going to start it again if I don't have to. So somebody is just screwing around, sounds to me like," added Fulmer.
It was major distraction for the media and left a stain on the 2008 SEC Media Days.
All of the coaches and players from other schools were also effected by the swirling rumors. The SEC now realizes that the situation should have never been allowed to happen says Commissioner Mike Slive.
In August of 2004 Fulmer called the lawsuit "frivolous," and said that he would not be a participating member to give testimony upon advisement of his own legal counsel.
The scenario revolved around Memphis Crimson Tide Booster Logan Young (now deceased - under still questionable circumstances), Ivey Williams and Ronny Cottrell that has now increased to others seeking their own financial compensation
Smith, is a Chattanooga car salesman who, was charged by the NCAA in 2002 with paying $10,000 to former Alabama blue-chip signee Kenny Smith to entice him in signing with the Crimson Tide.
The fracas surrounded Albert Means, a Memphis Player that everyone wanted and Memphis ended up with - he ended up being a bust at the collegiate level.
His high school football coach Lynn Lang accepted $150,000 from Young, the Alabama booster to steer his standout football player to the Crimson Tide was sentenced Tuesday to two years' supervised probation and 500 hours of community service.
Lynn Lang was also fined $2,500 after pleading guilty to conspiring to get defensive lineman Albert Means to sign with the Crimson Tide in 2000. He could have faced 30-37 months in federal prison and fines up to $60,000.
Lang, a former head coach at Trezevant High in Memphis, said he took the money from wealthy businessman Logan Young to make sure Means went to Alabama. Lang was dismissed from the school.
Young, was the most prominent of those three boosters, Alabama officials stuck a lifetime ban on him and pulled his 24-seat skybox after he had come under the investigation for illegal recruiting in 2000.
Lang had let several colleges know that for $200,000 Lang would arrange for Means to play for Alabama.
Smith is suing the NCAA for defamation. The list of total offense's was quite staggering and can be read at Alabama Scout.