Osceola Native Convicted in Recruiting Payoff

FEBRUARY 2, 2005 - Posted at 5:05 p.m. CST

MEMPHIS, TN - A federal jury in Memphis today convicted a millionaire businessman on charges that he paid $150,000 to get a top football recruit for the University of Alabama.

Jurors convicted Osceola native Logan Young, 64, of Memphis, after about five-and-a-half hours of deliberations.

He was convicted of giving former Trezevant High School coach Lynn Lang the money to get standout defensive lineman Albert Means to sign with the Crimson Tide in 2000.

The verdict, after seven days of testimony, came down coincidentally on college football's national signing day.

Young could be sentenced to 15 years in prison, but federal guidelines call for much less.

Alabama's recruitment of Means became part of an NCAA investigation that led to sanctions in 2002, depriving the Crimson Tide of scholarships and bowl eligibility.

Lang told jurors he got money from two other colleges, Georgia and Kentucky, and offers of cash, jobs or free law school from Arkansas, Memphis, Ole Miss, Michigan State and Tennessee.

Lang pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the case and was cooperating with prosecutors while awaiting sentencing.

The defense painted Young as a heavy drinker and big spender who liked to gamble and carry large sums of cash.

An indoor football practice facility at Osceola High School is named after Young, who helped pay for the facility.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)