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New judge appointed in Alabama booster-NCAA lawsuit trial

SCOTTSBORO (AP) — Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb on Thursday appointed a retired judge to preside over the rest of the trial of Alabama booster Ray Kelly's lawsuit against the NCAA.

Retired Montgomery Circuit Judge William "Bill" Gordon will replace Jackson County Circuit Judge John Graham, who suffered a heart attack Tuesday morning.

Graham, who is 45, remained in Huntsville Hospital's intensive care unit Thursday, The Huntsville Times reported on its Web site.

His family has not issued a statement and requests privacy. But Jackson County Circuit Judge Jenifer Holt said Thursday she understands Graham is doing much better.

Holt had asked the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts to replace Graham in the trial.

Gordon was appointed Thursday. Keith Camp, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of Courts said Gordon retired in January 1999, but occasionally presides over trials when needed.

Camp said the trial is expected to resume Nov. 26.

Keller, a timber dealer, is suing the NCAA for allegedly defaming him by calling him and two other men "rogue boosters" and "parasites" when Alabama was penalized nearly six years ago for recruiting violations.


Information from: The Huntsville Times,

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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