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Coach gets probation in 'Bama bribery case
By wire services
Published February 9, 2005
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A high school coach who accepted $150,000 from an Alabama booster to steer his standout player to the Crimson Tide was sentenced Tuesday to two years' supervised probation and 500 hours of community service.
Lynn Lang also was 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, former coach at Memphis Trezevant High, said he took the money from businessman Logan Young to make sure Means went to Alabama.
Young, a longtime Tide booster, was convicted last week on federal charges of conspiracy, bribery and money laundering. He is scheduled for sentencing in May.
Lang testified against Young as a condition of the guilty plea, which led to dismissal of extortion and bribery charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Godwin said in court that Lang's cooperation was key to convicting Young.
"Without Mr. Lang, this case could not have gone forward because there was no other witness to the bribe," he testified.
Means' recruitment became part of an NCAA investigation that led to sanctions against Alabama in 2002.
Means, who was not accused of wrongdoing, played one season at Alabama before transferring to Memphis, where he expects to graduate in the fall.
Former Tide assistants Ivy Williams and Ronnie Cottrell lost their jobs during the NCAA investigation and are suing the organization for defamation.
The crime to which Lang pleaded guilty does not demand forfeiture of the bribe money.
FLORIDA STATE: Linebackers coach Kevin Steele was named the 2005 national recruiter of the year by rivals100.com. Steele was the point person with receiver Fred Rouse, linebacker Derek Nicholson and defensive back Jamie Robinson, all heralded prospects that pushed Seminoles class into the No. 2 spot, according to the Web site.
MISSISSIPPI ST.: Safety Darren Williams, a junior who led the Bulldogs in interceptions last season, has been dismissed for violating team rules, coach Sylvester Croom said.
NOTRE DAME: Dave Duerson, a former defensive back at the school who earned two Super Bowl rings, was charged with hitting his wife and he subsequently resigned from the university's board of trustees.
TENNESSEE: A judge dismissed gun-related charges against two who were kicked off the team. Safety Brandon Johnson was arrested in October after firing a handgun in the air near campus. Another safety, Chris Heath, was charged with misdemeanor unlawful carrying of a firearm. At a preliminary hearing, a judge ruled there wasn't enough evidence to seek an indictment.
COACHING MOVES: East Carolina hired Rick Smith as its defensive backs coach, completing Skip Holtz's staff. Smith spent last season as defensive backs coach for Berlin in NFL Europe. ... Southern Miss hired Fred Tate, a former defensive line standout at the school, as defensive tackles coach. Also, assistant head coach Randy Butler also will coach tight ends, Ron McCrone the defensive ends, Lytrel Pollard the linebackers and Derrick Nix the running backs.