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FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2007
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Cottrell attorneys object to letter

TUSCALOOSA (AP) — Attorneys for former Alabama assistant coach Ronnie Cottrell objected to a judge's letter to the state Supreme Court and suggested he is being influenced by the NCAA in a defamation lawsuit.

The attorneys wrote to the Alabama Supreme Court in response to Tuscaloosa Circuit Judge Steve Wilson's clarification of his previous ruling regarding an indemnity agreement between the NCAA and recruiting analyst Tom Culpepper.

He said his order that the agreement didn't apply to jury awards was meant to include only punitive damages and that the clarification "should moot the issue on appeal regarding a jury trial on the indemnity agreement."

Cottrell's attorneys wrote that they were "seriously concerned that the NCAA, having exhausted the normal appellate procedures, has enlisted the cooperation of Judge Wilson in making yet another argument as to why there should not be a jury trial on the effect of the indemnity agreement."

They also contended that Wilson, who tossed out a $30 million judgment against Culpepper that included $24 million in punitive damages, had improper contact with NCAA attorneys during the 2005 trial.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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