Fulmer Gets Subpoenaed At SEC Media Days

HOOVER, Ala. — For most coaches, the Southeastern Conference Media Days are rather uneventful. Not so for Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer.

As he entered the Wynfrey Hotel on Thursday morning, Fulmer was reportedly served a subpoena from the attorneys of a former Alabama football booster.

Fulmer initially told reporters that he wasn't given a subpoena. But his attorney told the Knoxville News Sentinel that Fulmer unknowingly received an order to appear for a deposition from an individual outside the hotel.

Fulmer was in no mood to discuss the situation when asked about it by reporters on the second day of the SEC Media Days.

"As I said to all the other groups, this is not the place for that kind of thing," Fulmer said. "There are great fans that have great passion about the Southeastern Conference that are not interested in that kind of B.S. And I would have some other choice words if there weren't so many cameras in here."

Fulmer told The (Nashville) Tennessean on Thursday afternoon that he was served a subpoena, which calls for him to give a deposition on Sept. 25. He told the newspaper that he hadn't reviewed the document when he spoke to the media earlier in the day.

The subpoena is part of a defamation case involving a former Alabama booster whom the NCAA claims gave improper benefits to a recruit.

Fulmer got clearly agitated when a reporter attempted to clarify whether the coach had been served the subpoena.

"I've talked all about that I'm going to talk about that," Fulmer said. "If you have a question about a schedule or a team or anything, I'd be glad to talk to you. Otherwise, I'm not talking about it any further."

Nutt on Petrino

Former Arkansas coach Houston Nutt was asked plenty of questions about the Razorbacks on Thursday.

One of them was about his impression of Bobby Petrino, the coach who took his place at Arkansas.

"I don't know Bobby that well," Nutt said. "I've seen his work from afar. I know he's done a great job at Louisville. I was really impressed with the run he made there. I've known some coaches that coached with him at Jacksonville. So there's respect there.

"He's done an excellent job wherever he's been."

Nutt faced Petrino once when he was Boise State's coach in 1997. Petrino was the offensive coordinator at Utah State. Petrino and Utah State won 24-20.

Rule Changes

The SEC unveiled several rule changes that will go into effect this upcoming season.

The league has gotten rid of the 5-yard facemask penalty and instead will only flag teams for a 15-yard penalty if a player grabs a facemask and twists, turns or pulls it.

But the most significant change involves the clock before the start of a play. In the past, a referee would mark the ball and then start the 25-second clock on every play. But there will now be a 40-second clock when the ball is dead.

"The way it's going to work is when the ball is dead without any signal from the referee ... the 40-second clock will start ticking down," said Rogers Redding, the SEC Coordinator of Football Officials. "So that's the length of time the team will have to put the ball in play."

Redding said there will still be situations when the 25-second clock is used, such as a timeout or an injured player. But most of the time the clock will begin with 40 seconds on it.

-Alex Abrams and Robbie Neiswanger

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