Conspiracy?

Fair and ethical. That is how Judge Steve Wilson was described by friends when he retired from the bench Jan. 31. According to a Feb. 9 story in the Tuscaloosa News, the judge was described in glowing terms: sincere Christian, kind and wonderfully fair.

His handling of the Ronnie Cottrell case against the NCAA has been described in other terms by critics.

And Wilson may have handed them more ammunition by writing a book about the case.

Wilson has gone on a PR offensive with a story in the Birmingham News, and a letter to the editor of the Tuscaloosa News.

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I had forgotten about the lawsuit, and the judge. I’m sure 99-percent of the state had too. But now I remember thanks to the publicity.

And Judge Wilson is taking on a vast right wing, errr Alabama conspiracy.

And just like Hillary, Wilson paints a news outlet as a cornerstone of the conspiracy.

Wilson says that disassociated Alabama booster Logan Young, the plaintiffs and The Tuscaloosa News “may have been the real conspirators” in an effort to take advantage of public hatred toward the NCAA over its sanctions against the Tide program.

Wilson said the late Young wanted Cottrell’s lawsuit to cast doubt on the Memphis booster’s guilt in the illegal recruitment of Albert Means, which prompted the NCAA’s investigation of UA.

“He wanted a lawsuit filed for his own selfish interests,” Wilson said. “If you look throughout the complaint and the whole case, Gallion kept talking about Logan Young and how he was an innocent victim.

“That’s what Logan Young wanted to be presented to the public. He had criminal charges against him (in Memphis) and some Alabama fans irate with him.”

Request for comment from Tuscaloosa News executive editor Doug Ray and Tuscaloosa News publisher Tim Thompson went unanswered. UPDATE: Ray responded to my email, and said he did not wish to comment at this time because he had not seen Wilson’s manuscript.

Wilson promises a few surprises in his book:

“Dear Editor: When I set aside the $30 million verdict in the Cottrell vs. Tom Culpepper case, Thomas Gallion said I had insulted the good citizens of Tuscaloosa County. The Tuscaloosa News echoed those same words in an editorial. Of course I was legally correct to set the judgement aside. …

I have written a book on the case, which will be published in the near future. In the book I spring a few surprises of my own.

As Earl Pitts would say ‘Wake Up America.’

Thomas S. Wilson
Circuit Judge Retired
Coaling”

The book remains in the internal review process at UA press..

“It is still in the Press internal evaluation process,and as such there is no commitment from us for anything further than careful consideration. Normally we don’t even report on works which are only under consideration, and comment now only because Judge Wilson seems to have made a public announcement to the B’ham News,” UA Press director and Editor-in-Chief Daniel J.J. Ross told the Capstone Report.

Who gets the last word in the Cottrell case? Wilson is making his bid with the book and PR blitz.