BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – A recruiting scandal that landed Alabama’s football program on probation could go before the NCAA again based on new information made public in court last week.

Paul Wong
The Mississippi State offensive line might not be the only group putting the hurt on Alabama after the NCAA reopens its investigation into the Crimson Tide.

Tom Yeager, chairman of the infractions committee, said yesterday the NCAA is evaluating claims revealed during a hearing in which a former high school coach pleaded guilty to accepting $150,000 to steer a prized recruit to Alabama. The plea directly implicated two former Alabama coaches.

The enforcement staff could either shelve the matter or send it to the committee for further review, Yeager said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. No decision has been made.

Yeager declined comment on whether additional penalties were possible against Alabama, which in February was hit with scholarship limitations, a two-year bowl ban and five years of probation.

Yeager said the staff would pass along only information that was substantially different from what the committee previously heard. But it’s not uncommon for the committee to receive reports about infractions it previously considered, he said.

“In some cases it’s a lingering chain of events that can occur,” Yeager said.

University counsel Stan Murphy referred a call to university spokesman Larry White, who declined comment.

An NCAA investigator was in court last week in Memphis, Tenn., as former Trezevant High School coach Lynn Lang pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering charge and agreed to cooperate with investigators. A former Lang assistant, Milton Kirk, previously pleaded guilty.

With his plea, Lang agreed to the government’s contention that he took money from Logan Young, a wealthy Memphis businessman and longtime Alabama booster, to steer defensive lineman Albert Means toward Alabama. Young is a longtime friend of Alabama athletic director Mal Moore.

Lang said he was referred to Young by Ivy Williams, a former Alabama assistant, and that he discussed the deal with Ronnie Cottrell, a former Alabama recruiting coordinator.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Godwin also said in court that Williams suggested that Lang arrange for someone to take the place of Means during a college entrance test.

The disclosures appeared to be at odds with the NCAA’s previous decision in the Alabama case since the sanctioning body did not directly implicate the Alabama coaching staff in any major recruiting violations.

Alabama was not cited for lack of institutional control, a violation that could have brought more severe sanctions, possibly even the “death penalty,” which shuts down a program for at least one season.

The NCAA cleared Williams of lying to an NCAA investigator about the scandal after initially accusing him of providing false information about the case. Williams has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

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