ESPN is reporting that “A man found dead Tuesday in a Memphis home is believed to be Logan Young, an Alabama booster convicted of bribing a high school football coach to get a top recruit for the Crimson Tide.”
Police are investigating the case as a homicide. They have not yet confirmed the body was Young, but the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported on its Web site Tuesday that that detectives were working at a house where Young’s body was found. “We’re treating it as a mystery homicide,” Sgt. Vince Higgins told The Associated Press. He said officials assume the victim was Young but needed to use fingerprints and dental records to confirm the identity. “Suffice it to say, there was quite a physical struggle in this and this individual was injured severely,” he said.
Nashville attorney Jim Neal, who defended Young, said he had been told the body was found by a housekeeper. “I’ve had two or three calls about it, all to the same end, found killed in his home. … I heard that there was blood everywhere. That is all I know,” Neal said. Higgins said Young’s housekeeper found the body after she arrived for work this morning. The body had not been removed from the house and no family members immediately arrived at the house.
The 65-year-old Young was convicted under federal law of money laundering and racketeering conspiracy in the case involving the peddling of defensive lineman Albert Means. Young was sentenced in June to six months in prison and six months of home confinement then two years of supervised release. But he had been allowed to remain free pending his appeal.
Means’ recruitment became part of an NCAA investigation that led to sanctions against Alabama in 2002, costing the Crimson Tide scholarships and bowl appearances.
Attorney Tommy Gallion, who represented Williams and former Alabama assistant Ronnie Cottrell in a defamation suit against the NCAA and others, called the news tragic. “I have no idea who could be behind this. I was shocked that Phillip Shanks was beaten and this was more shocking,” Gallion said in a statement read by his secretary. Shanks was assisting Gallion on the lawsuit in May 2004 when he was attacked in his office and left unconscious. Key case documents were stolen, he said. No one was ever charged in the case.
Defense attorney Robert Hutton said he last talked with Young last week and called his death a total shock and a real loss. “He was very generous man. He was generous with people around him. A pastor of a Catholic Church, he asked for money for some program, for the roof or something, and he gave him the money. Logan wasn’t even Catholic,” Hutton said. “He was a wonderful character. I really enjoyed him as a person. It’s just a horrible tragedy.”
I don’t know much about Logan Young but certainly have no good feelings toward him in his role in embroiling my alma mater in a major scandal, setting the football program back several years.
It should go without saying that physical violence, let alone murder, is well beyond the pale for anything surrounding young men playing a game. Sadly, Young’s obsessession with college football made him notorious. Apparently, it led someone even more obsessed to kill him.
Update (4/13): The police now say Young’s death was an accident, not a homicide.
A University of Alabama football booster died when he hit his head in an accidental fall at home, rather than being slain as first thought, police said Thursday. Police initially described the death of 65-year-old Logan Young as a bloody slaying after a fierce struggle but quit calling it a homicide a day later. “We treated it as a homicide, the most serious, and put the puzzle together,” Police Director Larry Godwin said.
Homicide Lt. Joe Scott said police believe Young tripped while carrying a salad and soft drink up a set of stairs and hit his head on an iron railing. The fall onto the railing opened a large gash across the top of Young’s head and he dropped to the floor bleeding profusely, Scott said at a news conference. After lying on the floor for some time, Young got up and walked bleeding through several rooms of his spacious, two-story house before ending up in his second-floor bedroom, Scott added. His housekeeper found the body beside his bed Tuesday morning. “There was a lot of blood,” Scott said. Young, who was divorced and lived alone, apparently tried to slow the bleeding with towels from the kitchen downstairs and a bathroom upstairs, and two towels soaked with blood were found on the bed. He walked past several telephones but didn’t place an emergency call, Scott said.
As a ‘Bama alumnus and fan, I hope they’re right. As a skeptical observer of the news, though, I am more than slightly dubious. Given the apparent gruesomeness of the original scene, a fall seems an unlikely explanation. Granted that a man with such a severe injury was likely to panic, why not call 9-1-1?
And, not to make light of a horrible situation, I hope my last meal is a steak and a good glass of wine rather than a salad and Co-Cola.
Hat tip: Steven Taylor
“The Crimson Hide,” an in-depth look at how the Young-Means recruiting case developed by ESPN’s Mike Fish.
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