FIGHTING WORDS TURN TO BLUSTER, BACKTRACKING 

FIGHTING WORDS TURN TO BLUSTER, BACKTRACKING

The fight between Alabama football booster Logan Young and University of Tennessee booster Roy H. Adams has turned into a farce, at least temporarily, as both men backtracked this week. Young, who said earlier he plans to sue Adams for alleged defamatory comments on the Internet, now says he will wait until the NCAA finishes the investigation of the Alabama football program announced Thursday. If the investigation leaves him and Alabama unscarred, as Young hopes it will, then he may not “stir it all up again” with a libel suit, Young said. Many skeptics have doubted all along that Young would follow through. In a radio interview with theFlyer last week, Birmingham Post-Herald sports columnist Paul Finebaum said Young is “famous for threatening to sue.” If so, the threat seems to have gotten the attention of Adams, the Memphis booster known as “Tennstud” on the Internet. He posted messages this week suggesting someone else used his computer to say those bad things about Young. “In fact, my computer is in an open area in my library and numerous friends have lurked and some have even posted using my name,” he said in one Internet message on the gridscape site. “Under gridscape, tacked to a shelf, I have left on an index card my pass word for gridscape!” Fellow posters greeted this with a razzing (“As the Dud backstrokes,” began one), giving the whole bizarre affair the tone of a schoolyard shoving match between two boys who don’t really want to fight while the crowd eggs them on. In an interview with the Flyer, Adams confirmed that he wrote the mystery poster posting. “I’ve been real careful in making posts about the Memphis situation that I didn’t use his (Young’s) name in a defamatory or mean-spirited manner,” said Adams. “I’ve tried to be careful not to open myself to any libel or defamation suits.” Young’s lawyer, Louis Allen, said Friday he is “still looking into all aspects and going ahead with our investigation.” Former Shelby County District Attorney General John Pierotti, now in private practice, is also working for Young. Young has been repeatedly mentioned in Internet postings and news reports in connection with an alleged $200,000 payment to high school football coach Lynn Lang for delivering player Albert Means to Alabama. Young and Lang have denied that there was any such payment. The source of the allegation is former coach Milton Kirk. According to Adams, Kirk blurted out the story last October to a crowd of people, including Adams. “I know a dozen or more people heard it that night,” Adams said, but it was January before Kirk went public with his story in The Commercial Appeal. There has been speculation that Adams paid Kirk to put the story out in order to hurt Alabama’s recruiting, but he denies it. “The only advice I have ever given Kirk was to keep it quiet, and that shows how much influence I have on him,” said Adams. Adams even disavowed his now infamous nickname. He said he is an old-school newspaper buff and, as a novice Web surfer, tried several other Internet handles before choosing “Tennstud” after the Doc Watson tune about a horse. “I hate that damn name more than anyone knows,” he said. “I am short, fat, ugly, old, and balding and anything but a Tennessee stud.”

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