Former Samford head football Coach Pat Sullivan passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 69 years old. Pat Sullivan had a highly accomplished coaching career but was probably still best known for his stellar quarterback play while in college at Auburn University. There Sullivan won the Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football in 1971. He was also the MVP of the Gator and Sugar Bowls.
Current Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement on social media: “Coach Sullivan was a friend, mentor and a man of great character, who was beloved by many generations of Auburn fans. Pat Sullivan is, and always will be, the definition of an Auburn Man. He certainly will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sullivan family.”
Former Auburn head football and U.S. Senate candidate Coach Tommy Tuberville said, “Saddened to hear about the loss of my good friend and Auburn legend, Pat Sullivan. He will be remembered as a tremendous athlete, coach and mentor. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time.”
“Pat Sullivan gave Samford all and more than we could have asked,” said Samford President Andrew Westmoreland. “His teams won games, his players persisted to earn degrees; by personal example, he led everyone closer to Christ and he brought honor to our university. Along the way, he became a close and cherished friend. We extend our support and sympathy to Jean and the Sullivan family and we remember Pat as making an extraordinary difference at Samford and in all other aspects of his life and career.”
Sullivan has a career head coaching record of 73-85-1. He was 47 and 43 at Samford. He was also the former Coach at Texas Christian University. He played under legendary Auburn football Coach James Ralph “Shug” Jordan. He played in the NFL for five years with the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins. He later coached at Auburn under Coach Pat Dye. Sullivan was also the offensive coordinator at UAB from 1999 to 2006.
Sullivan was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and kept on coaching despite his battle with the disease. fought a long and difficult battle with the disease. Sullivan served as Samford’s head football coach from 2007 to 2014 and is the all-time winningest coach in school history. Sullivan led the Bulldogs to four consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1999 and took the program to its first Southern Conference championship in 2013. After his retirement in 2014, Sullivan served as a special adviser to the university president.
In 2014, Samford renamed its football field house the Sullivan-Cooney Family Field House to honor Sullivan. The Samford Legacy League established the Jean and Pat Sullivan Scholarship in 2009.
Sullivan was also a legendary player at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham.
Earlier this year, Sullivan was announced as a member of the 2020 Samford Athletics Hall of Fame class. He is also a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame and the National High School Hall of Fame.
Sullivan has been married to Jean Hicks Sullivan for 50 years and is the father of three children, Kim and twins Kelly and Patrick. He has eight grandchildren.
The Sullivan family said in a statement:
“At the age of 69, Patrick Joseph “Pat” Sullivan died peacefully at home on the morning of Sunday, December 1, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and fought a long and difficult battle as a result of his treatments. The family is appreciative of everyone’s outpouring of love and support.”
(Original reporting by Samford.com contributed to this report.)
Judge refuses to dismiss Roy Moore lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen
A federal judge last week refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen, Showtime and CBS filed by former Senate candidate Roy Moore.
Federal Judge Andrew Carter last week refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen, Showtime and CBS. The lawsuit was filed by former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and his wife Kayla Moore, who claim that Cohen slandered Moore as a pedophile on his now-canceled show “Who is America?”
After the judge denied Cohen’s request to dismiss the $95 million lawsuit, the case will now proceed to discovery, where the Moores announced that they intend to take the depositions of and obtain evidence from Cohen and other relevant individuals at Showtime, CBS and their related entities.
The Moores had put the defendants on notice that if they aired the offensive and defamatory interview by Cohen, who posed in disguise as an Israeli Mossad agent, that they would be sued for large damages. When the defendants did not heed the warning and aired the interview anyway, the Moores brought their lawsuit.
The case is being litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York after it was transferred over a year ago from a federal court in Washington D.C.
“We are gratified that the Court is allowing the Moores’ case to go forward and we look forward to putting Cohen and the other defendants under oath,” said Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, and a former federal prosecutor. “The alleged defamation of Chief Justice Moore was malicious and despicable and it is time that a jury of the parties’ peers allow justice to be done. Great harm has been caused to my clients, which must be addressed and remedied.”
In 2017, Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme court, was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. The Washington Post released an investigation that alleged Moore sexually abused young women in the 1970s. Moore denied the accusations.
Sessions: Tuberville’s fraud scandal “can’t just be swept under the rug”
Jeff Sessions criticized Tuberville’s actions as a “major fraud scheme that bilked large sums of money from hardworking people,” which “can’t just be swept under the rug.”
After The New York Times published an investigation into a financial fraud scandal involving Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, his opponent, former Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, criticized Tuberville’s actions as a “major fraud scheme that bilked large sums of money from hardworking people,” which “can’t just be swept under the rug.”
“This is an astounding story,” Sessions said. “Based on the facts already uncovered, it is clear that Tommy Tuberville was one of two partners in a major hedge fund fraud scheme that bilked large sums of money from hardworking people, including Alabamians.”
Tuberville’s partner was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the scheme by the court in Opelika, while Tuberville was sued for fraud, paying out a sum of money in a private settlement that has been kept out of the public eye.
“This can’t just be swept under the rug, and Tuberville can’t just brush it aside by falsely claiming he was some innocent victim,” Sessions said. “Indeed, he was a victimizer and held himself out as the ‘managing partner’ of the firm. Tuberville must give a full and complete accounting of this scandal. The people of Alabama deserve to know the complete truth now, before the election, about the man who is asking to be their senator.”
This scandal has been widely talked about in Republican circles for months or longer, but The New York Times article details the allegations for one of the first times in the national spotlight.
Tuberville became a full partner in a hedge fund with former Lehman Brothers broker John David Stroud. Their ventures included TS Capital Management and TS Capital Partners. The T stands for Tuberville and the S for Stroud.
Tuberville did not pick which stocks to buy or sell, and as the head football coach at Texas Tech University and later at the University of Cincinnati, he was not even a frequent presence in the office. Tuberville introduced Stroud to potential investors and even had business cards identifying himself as managing partner. He also leased a BMW and got his health insurance through the company.
The firm’s offices in Auburn were filled with his coaching memorabilia. In 2010, he traveled to New York with Stroud to meet potential brokers, and was kept in the loop on decisions about hiring. A source told APR that a number of SEC coaches were among the people defrauded by TS Capital.
When the money was all lost, Stroud was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Tuberville was sued by the investors for fraud and failure to carry out his fiduciary duties. Tuberville reportedly lost $450,000 of his own money and then had to pay out more than $1 million to the investors. The New York Times reported that his total losses were more than $2 million.
The financial scandal has many Republicans concerned about the viability of Tuberville’s general election campaign to unseat incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama.
“I think that Tuberville did not do anything wrong,” said Rev. John Killian, a conservative activist. “He is a good man, but the Doug Jones campaign, they would use this to the ninth degree.”
“They will shoot Tuberville up in 30 second and 60 second TV spots,” Killian added. “I don’t think Tuberville is crooked, but Doug Jones has $10 million to spend. I think they are lying in wait for Tuberville like they were for Roy Moore.”
Killian said that he will support Tuberville if he wins the Republican nomination, but that he is supporting Jeff Sessions in the primary because he is the strongest general election candidate to face Jones.
Tuberville supporter and Trump Victory National Committee member Perry Hooper Jr. was dismissive of assertions that Tuberville could be vulnerable.
“Coach has a commanding lead. He will win the run-off, and he will crush Doug Jones in the general election in November,” Hooper told APR.
Tuberville maintains that he was a victim of the fraud — not a perpetrator.
“They sued me because I invested in it, and he used my name to get other people to put money in,” Tuberville said. “There was nothing ever implicated by anybody that I’d done anything wrong. I felt bad that he used my name.”
The New York Times has asked Tuberville to release the plaintiffs from their confidentiality agreement. Tuberville to this point has declined. Stroud has been released from prison but has not commented on his relationship with Tuberville. Tuberville faces Sessions in the July 14 Republican runoff.
President Donald Trump has endorsed Tuberville, and Tuberville is leading Sessions in most available polling.
Lauderdale Republicans pass resolution defending Florence Confederate monument
Lauderdale County Republicans responded to calls to take down a local monument by passing a resolution urging elected leaders to oppose its removal.
The Lauderdale County Republican Executive Committee passed a resolution Thursday, by a unanimous vote, urging the Lauderdale County Commission and Florence City Council to take a stand and defend the Confederate monument in Florence.
The monument was erected to Alabamians who fought and died for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. A growing number of people today say that they fought to defend slavery and that Confederate monuments instead are symbols of white oppression over Black Americans and should be removed from public places.
The Lauderdale County Republicans responded to these calls to take down their local monument by passing a resolution urging elected leaders to oppose removing the monument.
The Lauderdale County GOP said in a statement that they are taking “a stand against the ‘cancel culture’ Marxists and passed this resolution.”
“We are urging the Lauderdale County Commission and Florence City Council to honor their oaths of office and follow the law! We are also calling on all of our elected officials to declare their position on the matter,” the statemeant read.
The resolution states that, “The Lauderdale County Monument to the men of the County who served in the Confederate Army in the War between the States 1861-1865 fought against oppressive taxation and for states’ rights in an army that included African-Americans in support and combat roles, was dedicated in 1903 and has stood in front of the county courthouse for 117 years.”
The resolution alleges that: “There is a movement of liberal and radical organizations, not representatives of the majority of citizens of Lauderdale County which currently are attempting to destroy the record of the courage and sacrifice of our ancestors in the United States.”
The cities of Birmingham and Mobile have already taken down their Confederate monuments in open defiance of existing state law in the state’s Memorials Preservation Act.
Prichard Mayor Jimmy Gardner to run for reelection
Prichard Mayor Jimmie Gardner said Monday in a statement that he will run for re-election. Gardner announced that he will deliver the letter announcing his intention to seek re-election, along with all qualifying documents, to the Prichard city clerk today at 10 a.m.
Gardner will hold a press conference after qualifying. He is promising to provide additional information about the campaign next week.
Gardner’s qualifying letter simply reads: “To Whom It May Concern: I, Jimmie Gardner, on this date, July 6, 2020 do humbly submit this letter to affirm that I will be seeking the office of Mayor for the City of Prichard, Alabama in the 2020 election.”
Gardner was elected mayor in the 2016 municipal elections, defeating incumbent Mayor Troy Ephriam.
“I have spent my entire career over 35 years protecting and serving the community in which I love,” Gardner stated. “My mission as Mayor is to ensure that the City of Prichard receives the recognition that it deserves. We are a strong, resilient people who care about their neighbors and want to see our city move in a positive direction.”
“As your Mayor, I pledge to give 100% to ensure that the progress this city deserves will begin,” Gardner continued. “I am not promising an overnight fix, but in time through prayer, hard work and dedication from everyone, The Change Will Come! Please patiently work with us as we make critical decisions for the betterment of the City of Prichard.”
The city of Prichard is in Mobile County and had a population of 21,531 in 2018. The city of Prichard had a population in 1993 of 38,410, but like much of Alabama, outside of pockets of prosperity, has been in decline in recent decades.
Prichard was incorporated in 1925. The city boomed from ship building and the paper industry in the 1940s and 1950s, peaking like Mobile in 1960, but since then, the city has been negatively impacted by the decline in American shipbuilding and the closure of the International Paper and Scott paper mills in the 1980s.
Improving roads made it easier for people to commute to work so much of the city’s middle class has moved to new developments outside the city limits.