This story has been big today in Memphis but not nearly as big as it is in Alabama and Knoxville. I did see FOX 13’s early coverage while we were eating dinner. Nice job by Les Smith on a look at Logan’s life. Didn’t see what others did and not sure I’ll be watching at 10. But I did listen to some sports talk radio out of Birmingham which seemed to have some good info.
I did know Logan. Interviewed him several times and once just before the big scandal broke in the Commercial Appeal. I had just read “Braggin’ Rights” and after much pleading, lobbied to do a story on what was described as a new Memphis Mafia over college football.
My photographer that day thought it was hilarious that grown men would care about football so much that they’d actually spend their hard-earned money on a teenage football player. So when we walked into Logan’s office, I told Joe, “roll. He’ll probably throw us out”.
On the contrary. Logan Young met us in the lobby and agreed to answer my questions. I thought Joe blew it for me though when he said “Jamey didn’t think you’d talk to him since he’s a big Auburn fan”. Joe didn’t know that that very well could have been a deal breaker.
To my knowledge, I was the only reporter Logan had talked to at that time. At least on camera. My folks saw the story on at least two tv stations in Birmingham the next night. I interviewed Logan three times. That day in his office and twice in his home. After the Commercial Appeal story hit national news and the scandal became a federal matter, Logan lawyered up with former Watergate attorney Jim Neal who told him to stop talking to me and anybody else. The next time I showed up at Logan’s home, he welcomed me inside but told me he couldn’t answer any more questions.
Logan was always gracious. And while he may not have been entirely honest with his answers, I think he danced around most questions to answer them in a way that wouldn’t confirm or deny the truth.
He and Paul Finebaum had some rough moments, but according to Paul’s show today, they had buried any hatchets and had become friends again. Logan’s nemesis, Roy Adams had one of those relationships where, although they hated each other, in some ways I think they felt they needed each other too. Roy’s the big UT booster who used to be Logan’s friend until the night Roy said, “he left me in the rain at a Memphis restaurant after UT finally broke Alabama’s winning streak”.
Here’s what Roy posted today at the Inside Tennessee message board:
“I had my problems, fights, with Logan only because UT started beating Bama; he subjected me to great security precautions and other expense as he openly bragged about having me followed and was going to “ruin Roy Adams” financially-and he tried.And his disgusting reference to my mother as a piece of s__t after saying he regretted spending $100 for her funeral flower arrangement is hard to ignore, to forget, much less forgive.But, he suffered greatly in his last few years and certainly didn’t deserve a fate like he has suffered. May God have mercy on you Logan!! “
Late word tonight is that police are questioning Logan’s son, Logan III who, according to neighbors has a long history of drugs and who recently moved back in his dad’s home. One neighbor told reporters “My guess is, his son had another run in with somebody over drugs and they went to get their money.”
I don’t know if there has ever been a man who has loved a college football team more than Logan Young. I think it was the most important thing in his life. The last few seasons had to have been difficult since he was not allowed to watch the games in person. I asked him about that and he said he’d just watch them on tv and that driving to the games was getting difficult anyway. I didn’t believe him then either. I think it hurt. I think it hurt him not feeling like he was part of the team. Not being able to talk with the coaches and players and parents. Not being able to feel like a ‘part owner’, which…if the federal case against him was true, he could and did.
But he didn’t deserve what happened to him today.
And one more thing: Could UofA Athletic Director Mal Moore be any more unsympathetic in his remarks about the murder? He actually issued a press release which said something like “The University of Alabama is saddened by the tragic events of Logan Young’s death. Our prayers go out to his family”.
That wouldn’t have been surprising if it had come from Phil Fulmer or a UT AD, but The University of Alabama athletic director!?! Here’s a booster who for years, gave his entire life to that program, and that’s the best you can come up with? Sure…he helped get you on probation but I don’t think it was a one-man job. There were apparently lots of bama people who knew what was going on so that excuse won’t wash. Surely Moore could have said something heartfelt.