NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An Alabama booster convicted of bribing a high school football coach to get a top recruit for the Crimson Tide was found dead Tuesday in his Memphis home, and police were investigating it as a homicide.
Police hadn't yet confirmed the body was that of Logan Young, but his defense attorney said it was the Alabama booster.
"We're treating it as a mystery homicide," Sgt. Vince Higgins said in a telephone interview.
He said officials assume the victim was Young but needed to use fingerprints and dental records to confirm the identity. A medical examiner was at Young's upscale home near a Memphis country club trying to determine the cause of death.
"Suffice it to say, there was quite a physical struggle in this and this individual was injured severely," he said.
Nashville defense attorney Jim Neal 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 last June to six months in prison and six months home confinement then two years supervised release. But he had been allowed to remain free pending his appeal. Final briefs in Young's appeal were to be filed by July 14, according to court records.
His attorneys had argued Young needed a kidney transplant and could not get proper medical care in prison.
Former high school coach Lynn Lang, who avoided jail time after pleading guilty to taking part in a racketeering conspiracy, testified against Young, saying the booster paid $150,000 to get Means to sign with Alabama in 2000.
The NCAA has said it believed Means was unaware his football talents were being brokered. The player later transferred to Memphis, where he finished his college career.
Lang testified at Young's trial that other universities, including Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Memphis, Mississippi, Michigan State and Tennessee, offered him money or jobs to get Means.
No charges were filed against anyone with those schools. Three former coaches, Rip Scherer of Memphis, Jim Donnan of Georgia and Alabama assistant Ivy Williams, testified Lang was lying.
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."