Fulmer's take on dismissal

After going on the offensive last week in his Media Days teleconference, Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer was a kinder, gentler football coach this week when notified that an Alabama judge has dismissed the defamation lawsuit filed by former Alabama and UT football player Kenny Smith.

The suit sought damages for a comment Fulmer reportedly made alleging that Smith's mother once had an affair with a University of Alabama assistant. The comment was made confidentially to an NCAA official investigating alleged recruiting violations involving Tide staffers and boosters.

What follows is the entire statement from Fulmer, released by the UT sports information department:

"It is a good day for the coaching profession and the NCAA system of self-governance. I have been confident all along that we did what was right, the system would work, and it has.

"As this lawsuit went along, it became apparent that the controversial attorneys pressing the suit had as their goal the erosion of the entire NCAA process. One of the attorneys even admitted that as their goal last week.

"Today's judgment was not a surprise to me, and the desire to get to this point is what motivated me to participate in SEC Media Days by teleconference rather than be there in person.

"I appreciate my university administration, my football team, the Tennessee people and my fellow coaches for standing with me on this matter."


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