Media Days turn legal

Published 4:40 pm Thursday, July 24, 2008

SEC Media Days are almost like a circus every year, and this year is no different.

Usually, coaches and players are asked for their autographs, but Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer was given an already autographed piece of paper – one that he didn’t like too much. Once his vehicle stopped at the Wynfrey Hotel lobby, a process server hired by lawyers for Wendell Smith of Chattanooga, Tenn., handed Fulmer a subpoena as he stepped out of an SUV.

It seems like Fulmer has been the center of that circus for many years in the past. Fulmer has threatened not to show – a threat he delivered on once. Four years ago, the coach that is hated by many Alabama fans did his Media Days press conference by telephone. His two players showed up, but Fulmer didn’t.

Yesterday, Fulmer probably wished he hadn’t showed up because he has been subpoenaed to show up for a deposition at Blankenship, Harrelson & Wollitz in Birmingham.

Fulmer was fuming about it. “I have not seen a subpoena,” he said. “This is not the place for that kind of thing. There are great fans that are very passionate about the Southeastern Conference that aren’t interested in that kind of B.S.”

“And I would have some other choice words if there weren’t so many cameras in here,” he added.

However, it appears like Fulmer probably was served. “I’m confident the evidence will prove he was served,” said Brandon Blankenship, attorney for Wendell Smith who is suing the NCAA.

My goodness. What is SEC Media Days coming to? I guess next year, Judge Judy should preside over the proceedings instead of Mike Slive. You never know. There might be some reason to have a session of court right in front of the media.

For good measure, you could get Mike Dubose to be a secret witness against Fulmer, who would be accused of bringing down Alabama.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville might want to sue Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino for damages when Petrino almost took Tubby’s job. The not-so-secret witness would be none other than Bobby Lowder.

Vandy’s Bobby Johnson could sue Kentucky’s Rich Brooks for having a winning season. Johnson probably feels slighted that the Commodores can’t make a bowl even with a first-round draft pick at quarterback while Brooks did it last year.

I guess coaches will learn to bring their lawyers along when they speak at SEC Media Days.