Ex-coach denies he made offer

By Times wire
Published February 1, 2005

MEMPHIS - A third former coach challenged the testimony Monday of the government's chief witness in a federal trial over a recruiting scandal.

Rip Scherer denied offering a free law school education for the wife of a former high school coach in exchange for getting a recruit to sign with Memphis in 2000.

Scherer, an ex-Memphis coach, was called as a defense witness at the trial of Logan Young, charged with paying $150,000 to get lineman Albert Means to sign with Alabama.

Former high school coach Lynn Lang testified last week that Scherer made the law school offer while trying to recruit Means.

Lang, Means' former coach, has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing. He testified that Young bribed him with cash less than the $10,000 threshold for IRS reporting.

Lang said he was referred to Young by former Alabama assistant Ivy Williams. Williams told the jury last week that Lang's testimony was untrue.

Lang also testified that eight schools offered inducements and three, Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky, handed out money. He said ex-Georgia coach Jim Donnan gave him $700, which Donnan denied.

WASHINGTON: Rick Neuheisel became defensive when initially questioned by the NCAA because he feared implicating himself, his lawyer said. In his opening statement, Bob Sulkin also said Neuheisel told the truth after consulting with a lawyer.

Washington fired Neuheisel for betting on NCAA basketball tournaments. He is suing the NCAA and the university, alleging he was wrongly fired.

University lawyer Lou Peterson said Neuheisel has only himself to blame after a series of lies, including gambling and his candidacy for the 49ers coaching job. NCAA attorney John Aslin disputed Sulkin's suggestion that the NCAA wanted to get Neuheisel, saying NCAA rules require "full and complete disclosure."

WASHINGTON ST.: Coach Bill Doba signed an extension through 2009. He is 15-9 in two seasons. Gibbs guard picks USF

Gibbs lineman Paul Uhatafe became South Florida's 23rd oral commitment, the first from a Pinellas County senior. Offensive tackle Theodric Watson played at Lakewood before heading to Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Uhatafe, a 6-foot-2, 293-pound guard, was offered a scholarship Sunday and accepted, according to this father, Navi.

Uhatafe, whose brother, Siaosi, will be a sophomore in the fall for USF, chose USF over Central Florida, Florida Atlantic and Florida A&M. Only USF projected the 2004 second-team All-Suncoast player as an offensive lineman.

He is scheduled for surgery Feb.11 to repair a torn ACL in his right knee.

--Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.