Vols coach served for NCAA suit

HOOVER, Ala. - Lawyers for a former Alabama football booster said they staked out the annual Southeastern Conference football media days Thursday and served Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer with a subpoena to testify about a lawsuit against the NCAA.

Fulmer repeatedly denied seeing a subpoena. But the scene was much like the one he tried to avoid four years ago when he refused to come to the event in suburban Birmingham and spoke only by phone, incurring a $10,000 fine from the league.

A process server hired by lawyers for Wendell Smith of Chattanooga, Tenn., approached Fulmer as he stepped out of an SUV outside the suburban hotel where SEC media days was held, said Brandon Blankenship, an attorney for Smith.

'He said, 'Coach Fulmer, I've got something for you,' and gave it to him,' said Blankenship, of Birmingham.

Fulmer denied it.

'I have not seen a subpoena,' he said. 'This is not the place for that kind of thing. There are great fans that are very passionate about the Southeastern Conference that aren't interested in that kind of B.S.

'And I would have some other choice words if there weren't so many cameras in here.'

He deflected a further question about the subpoena, saying, 'I'm not going to talk about it.'

A judge may have to decide whether Fulmer actually received the subpoena.

'I'm confident the evidence will prove he was served,' said Blankenship.

Attorneys have been seeking Fulmer's sworn statements in a lawsuit filed by Smith, a former Alabama booster, against the NCAA. A clerk in Jackson County confirmed to The Associated Press that the subpoena was issued Wednesday.

The clerk said Fulmer was ordered to appear to give a deposition Sept. 25 in Birmingham. The date is two days before Tennessee plays at Auburn.