"Mr. Cunningham brings to the University's appeal vast experience as a very successful and effective litigation attorney," Sorensen said. "His firm has long supported the University and the State of Alabama. He and two of his partners most recently led the successful litigation of the state's interest in a case against Exxon."
On Saturday February 16, 2002, Cunningham met in Tuscaloosa with Sorensen, Athletics Director Mal Moore, and University attorneys Glenn Powell and Stan Murphy to discuss the appeal. After having been retained by the University, Cunningham announced that he and his firm would insist on representing the University without a fee, on a pro bono basis.
"It has been our intention from the beginning to vigorously appeal this ruling, and Robert Cunningham came to the forefront," Moore said. "His addition to our current team will certainly enhance our ability in this case. Make no mistake about it, we all recognize the significance of this appeal to our program, our fans and the people of Alabama."
"Our firm considers it a privilege and an honor to represent the University of Alabama in its NCAA appeal. My son graduated from Alabama and my firm has a strong personal commitment to this institution," Cunningham said. "Our firm intends to aggressively advocate the University's very sound arguments supporting, at a minimum, a reduction in the sanctions and penalties. We will devote all of the talent and resources at our disposal as we work with the University to achieve a just outcome.
"We do understand, and everyone interested in this appeal should understand, that we face a very difficult uphill battle. Nevertheless, this great University has never backed away from adversity and neither has our law firm. We relish this challenge."
Further information on the firm of Cunningham, Bounds, Yance, Crowder and Brown may be found at www.cunninghambounds.com.