UA Official Says Allegations 'Not Credible'

FAYETTEVILLE -- It didn't surprise Arkansas officials that a former Memphis high school coach testified the Razorbacks were one of seven programs to offer money for the services of a coveted athlete during the 1999-2000 recruiting season.

But that doesn't mean they are happy about the rebirth of recruiting allegations, which have been around since 2001, one week before national signing day.

Once again, Arkansas strongly denied former Memphis Trezevant High coach Lynn Lang's claims that the Hogs offered money to steer former Alabama football signee Albert Means to their program. Associate general counsel Scott Varady said the NCAA found the information not credible, adding Lang hasn't provided any proof to support his allegations regarding Arkansas.

"We categorically deny Mr. Lang's allegations, which were previously made some years ago," Varady said. "The university, in cooperation with the NCAA Enforcement staff, previously reviewed Mr. Lang's allegations and found them to be not credible.

"His apparent repetition of the allegations against the University of Arkansas without any proof adds nothing new to a matter that was resolved long ago."

Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles and coach Houston Nutt were unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Lang, who is testifying in the high-profile criminal trial of Alabama booster Logan Young, said Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia, paid him to steer Means to their programs. He said Alabama provided $150,000. Lang also testified that Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Michigan State offered money for Means, but never paid.

According to The Associated Press, Lang told jurors Arkansas offered him either an assistant coaching job worth more than $80,000 a year or $150,000 in cash if he delivered Means and another player to the Razorbacks.

But Varady said Arkansas "has a track record of taking any allegation seriously" and looked into Means' recruitment. The NCAA also reviewed Arkansas' role in the matter -- from July 2003 to April 2004 -- and found no wrongdoing.

Varady remains confident Arkansas staff members didn't break NCAA recruiting rules and contended Lang's allegations have no merit.

Former Arkansas assistant Fitz Hill, who recruited Means along with running backs coach Danny Nutt, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal in January, 2001 that Lang put an offer on the table detailing what it would take to sign Means to a letter-of-intent. Nutt indicated one of his assistants told him money was solicited and Danny Nutt reportedly was interviewed by investigators about Means' recruitment.

Lang is awaiting sentencing on a guilty plea to racketeering conspiracy, while Young is on trial on federal bribery and money laundering charges.

Young's lawyers contend Lang is lying to save himself from a long prison sentence.

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