Former Memphis high school standout Albert Means, a central figure in football investigations at Kentucky, Alabama and other Southeastern Conference programs, has been cleared by the NCAA to play for the University of Memphis this season.
Means, a 6-foot-4, 340-pound defensive tackle, originally signed with Alabama. The Parade All-American played for the Crimson Tide last year before transferring when it was alleged his high school coach received $200,000 for his services.
Under the NCAA's transfer rules, Means would have had to sit out this season at Memphis. However, the organization's administrative review subcommittee saw fit to grant a waiver. Means whould take the field with the Tigers when they open the season Monday at Mississippi State.
"There was no evidence that Albert Means knew about those allegations prior to reading to media reports," NCAA spokesman Wally Renfroe told The Associated Press.
"Albert has worked very hard throughout this entire ordeal and, at times, I know that it has been hard for him to keep his mind on his schoolwork and on football,"Memphis coach Tommy West said.
Lynn Lang, the former head coach at Trezevant High School, and one of his assistant coaches, Milton Kirk, have been charged with conspiracy, bribery and extortion. They surrendered to federal authorities on Thursday after being indicted. If convicted, Lang and Kirk face per count fines of up to $250,000 and jail sentences ranging between five and 20 years.
Kirk testified under oath this week at a Memphis school board hearing that Alabama booster Logan Young paid Lang to get Means to sign with Alabama. It was also alleged in previous interviews that former Kentucky recruiting coordinator Claude Bassett paid the Memphis coach $5,000 to arrange a visit from Means.
The FBI, NCAA and SEC are all investigating the case.