Fulmer's fine for missing media day upheld
Posted: Friday October 8, 2004 4:10PM; Updated: Friday October 8, 2004 4:20PM
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Southeastern Conference executive committee has denied Tennessee's appeal of a $10,000 fine for coach Phillip Fulmer's absence at media days this summer, officials said Friday.
University president John Petersen presented Tennessee's argument for the appeal to the committee on a conference call on Sept. 22, and SEC commissioner Mike Slive informed UT of the committee's decision the same day, athletic director Mike Hamilton said.
"I'm not totally surprised," Hamilton said. "We feel like we obviously support the letter of the rule. We still felt like we abided with the spirit of the rule to make sure coaches are participating in media days. That's why we have rules and why we have an executive committee and we'll respond accordingly."
The SEC adopted a rule in June that fines universities for not showing up at media days.
Fulmer was advised by his attorneys to not go to Birmingham, Ala., in July for the annual news conferences to avoid legal entanglements with lawsuits stemming from NCAA recruiting violations uncovered at Alabama.
Instead, Fulmer stayed in Knoxville and spoke to reporters by conference call.
A defamation lawsuit against Fulmer by a former Alabama recruit and Tennessee player was pending in Tuscaloosa, Ala., at the time of media days. A judge dismissed the lawsuit three days later.
Attorneys representing two former Tide assistants in a separate lawsuit against the NCAA claim Fulmer conspired with the agency to bring down the Alabama football program.
Hamilton said he didn't know if there is a deadline for payment. The money will be paid by the athletic department.
The seven members of the executive committee are Georgia president Michael Adams, South Carolina president Andrew Sorensen, Arkansas chancellor John White, Florida faculty representative Nick Cassisi, Mississippi faculty representative Robert Weems, LSU senior women's administrator Judy Southard and Auburn athletic director David Housel.