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News Nuggets, 07.27.04

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Chopper ride for hearing-impaired will have a 'Voice'


07.26.04: Boyce to ride herd on Pirates' classroom pursuits ... IU fans' suit over Knight firing gets new life ... More...
07.25.04: Controversy-ridden Clemons seeks exile at Livingstone ... USM honors grad with N.C. business ties ... More...
07.24.04: ECU harrier coach hired by Longhorns ... .. Tulane, Florida A&M pair up for Superdome extravaganza ... More...
07.23.04: Future Pirate sprints to glory at World meet ... .. Legendary 'Big O' subs for sidelined Huggins ... .. Rattlers' I-A vision buried under avalanche of penalties ... More...
07.22.04: NCAA panel endorses major recruiting reforms ... Clemens honor gives Weaver sweep of baseball awards ... More...
No Nuggets 05.20.04 - 05.21.04 because of technical problems.
07.19.04: Former ECU assistant VanDerHeyden retires from UAB staff ... Bearcats land junior college punter ... More...
07.18.04: ECU touts corporate football packages ... SLU marketing themes earn national awards ... More...
07.17.04: Laurinburg Institute star inks with DePaul ... Long Beach State ace captures Golden Spikes ... More...
07.16.04: Stats ditched, computers downgraded in new BCS equation ... Huggins exile to end next month ... More...
07.15.04: BCS to roll out new title scheme ... Catamounts AD rejoins old boss Todd Turner ... ECU's Walker Center awarded outreach grant ... More...
07.14.04: Diamond success spurs bigger bucks for Mazey ... Five C-USA quarterbacks on O'Brien watch list ... More...
07.13.04: UAB, USF swap Saturday date for Wednesday TV game ... Divided school ditches Indian nicknames ... More...

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A fundraising initiative by Ron Ayers Motorsports and Marketing Matters, on behalf of the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, has an ally with experience in getting the word out loud and clear.

The Greenville firms will team with Jeff Charles, the broadcast "Voice" of the East Carolina Pirates, to host a benefit motorcycle ride Oct. 16th for the Wilson school.

Students form all over Eastern N.C. in grades pre-school through 12 are served by the venerable institution.

The ride is scheduled for an open date Saturday during ECU's football season. Riders will pay an entry fee.

"It's going to be fun," Charles said. "In visiting with the kids, they have a real need ... and they don't have a lot of money so we're going to try and help them out."

All funds raised will be used to repair the school's swimming pool and for athletic equipment and uniforms.

Donations may be sent to Dave Richmond, Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, P.O. Drawer 2768, Wilson, NC 27894.

Fulmer shuns SEC gathering in hostile Alabama

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer will not attend this week's Southeastern Conference media days after learning that attorneys in a lawsuit against the NCAA plan to subpoena him at the event in Alabama.

Attorneys representing a former Alabama assistant coach have accused Fulmer of conspiring with the NCAA in bringing down the Crimson Tide football program by speaking to an NCAA investigator four years ago. Alabama was placed on five years probation in 2002 after the NCAA uncovered recruiting violations that included payments to players from boosters.

"I am not attending media days because of the legal circus that has been created by an isolated group of attorneys. They want to hijack media days for their own benefit, but I am not going to allow that to happen," Fulmer said in a statement Monday. "This day is for the players. They should be center stage instead of this small group of lawyers who intend on attacking the integrity of the NCAA's enforcement process."

University president John Petersen and athletic director Mike Hamilton defended their decision to protect Fulmer from an onslaught of media attention and the threat of being served a subpoena.

"I don't think this is tucking and running," Hamilton said at a Monday night news conference.

One of the attorneys notified SEC commissioner Mike Slive that Fulmer would be issued a subpoena at media days if the coach did not agree to give a deposition, the Tuscaloosa News reported Monday on its Web site.

Fulmer will be fined $10,000 by the SEC for not attending media days, but will be available to reporters Thursday via teleconference during the time he was supposed to appear in person. Players Michael Munoz and Kevin Burnett will attend as scheduled.

Petersen tried to persuade Slive not to fine Fulmer.

"I think we will potentially avert something that would not be in the best interest of the NCAA, the conference or the coach of the University of Tennessee," Petersen said.

Tennessee officials voiced their concern last week about Fulmer's safety in Birmingham while meeting with reporters at the annual SEC event. Fulmer was scheduled to appear the same day Alabama coach Mike Shula and two players are on the agenda.

Media days is held in a hotel and many fans — mostly of Alabama — go there to watch the players and coaches.

In 2000, Fulmer was interviewed three times by an NCAA investigator looking into possible recruiting violations at Alabama. Other coaches from the SEC and the Big Ten conference also spoke to investigators, according to NCAA documents. Some, including Fulmer, also testified before a grand jury in Memphis that indicted Alabama booster Logan Young allegedly paid $150,000 to steer prospect Albert Means to Alabama in 1999.

Attorney Tommy Gallion and his colleagues, who are representing former Tide coach Ronnie Cottrell in a lawsuit against the NCAA, have alleged Fulmer provided information to the NCAA in exchange for the NCAA overlooking violations at Tennessee.

Fulmer has defended his actions in the past, but had not said much at length publicly about it until Monday's statement.

"When you get behind all the smoke and the big pile of lawsuits, the truth still stands: rules were broken, an investigation proved it, those who broke the rules admitted their guilt, and a university paid the price. There are a few people who cannot accept the truth, so they file lawsuits hoping the truth will go away," Fulmer said.

"As one of several coaches contacted by the NCAA regarding these serious violations by a small group of boosters, my response was honest, in line with our code of conduct, and the right thing to do."

Former Alabama recruit and Tennessee player Kenny Smith also has filed a defamation lawsuit against Fulmer for telling the NCAA investigator he heard there were rumors Smith's mother was involved with a Tide assistant.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member schools, and from Associated Press and other reports. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Page Updated: 02/23/2007

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