Jury awards $5 million against NCAA

SCOTTSBORO - A jury in Scottsboro awarded $5 million today to a former University of Alabama football booster who claimed the NCAA defamed him when it imposed penalties on the Crimson Tide in 2002.

The jury awarded Ray Keller $3 million in punitive damages, $1 million for mental anguish, $500,000 for economic loss and $500,000 for damage to reputation.

Ray Keller, a timber dealer, argued that the NCAA slandered and libeled him during the announcement of penalties by referring to him and others as "rogue boosters," "parasites" and "pariahs."

The jury of nine women and three men deliberated an hour yesterday and about five more today before ruling against the NCAA.

Jurors heard three weeks of testimony.

Keller maintained the sanctioning organization wrongly lumped him in with other boosters who were accused of making improper contacts and payments to recruits in the 1990s.

A separate lawsuit filed in Tuscaloosa over the investigation resulted in a $30 million verdict against a former recruiting analyst who provided information to the NCAA, but that judgment was overturned on appeal.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report