Archive for Sunday, May 4, 2003

Alabama pulls plug on Price

Crimson Tide coach fired for ‘inappropriate behavior’

May 4, 2003

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— Mike Price was fired by Alabama without coaching a single game because of behavior including a night at a topless bar -- another embarrassment for a once-proud football team.

University president Robert Witt said Saturday that Price failed to live his "personal and professional life in a manner consistent with university policies."

Price, hired away from Washington State in December, lost his job because of his conduct on a trip to Florida last month for a pro-am golf tournament. Witt disclosed for the first time that Price was warned before that trip about his public behavior.

"To the university and the entire 'Bama Nation, I admit making mistakes and at times inappropriate behavior, but I also ask for your forgiveness," Price said.

Alabama has won six national football championships, but it can't seem to keep a coach lately and is under NCAA probation.

Reports emerged during the week that Price spent hundreds of dollars at a topless bar and, the next morning, a woman ordered about $1,000 of room service and charged it to his hotel bill.

The 57-year-old Price, his wife and the two sons he hired for the Alabama coaching staff sat with the media for a brief public session with university trustees Saturday.

After Witt announced the firing, a tearful Price was alternately apologetic and defiant in speaking to an auditorium packed with reporters and fans. He said he asked Witt for a second chance, but the president declined.

"I don't think the punishment fits the crime," Price said. "I strongly feel that I was the man that could have put this behind us. I think President Witt is making a mistake. He's not breaking the law, but he's making an error in judgment."

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