SI And Mike Price Bury The Bodies Together

Sports Illustrated announced this morning that it and former Alabama coach Mike Price have "amiably resolved" the lawsuit Price filed against the magazine for a story it ran in 2003.

If you don't remember it, the story — which ultimately cost Price his dream job at Alabama — detailed Price's dalliances with two strippers in a Pensacola, Fla. hotel room. It was written by Don Yeager and featured this damning line:

The woman, who declined comment when asked if she was paid for the evening, said that the threesome engaged "in some pretty aggressive sex." She said that at one point she and her female companion decided to add a little levity to the activity: "We started screaming 'Roll Tide!' and he was yelling back, 'It's rolling, baby, it's rolling.'"

That quote would be classified as "damaging to one's reputation." Here's the thing, though: Yaeger didn't take notes when he interviewed the woman, he didn't tape the interview, his fact-checker disagreed with several parts of the story and, oh, Yaeger paid his source too. (The whole thing is detailed by Football Outsiders' Michael David Smith right here.) Yaeger also has taken heat for his side job as a lobbyist, a job that SI says he doesn't have anymore, an assertion that those he still lobbies take issue with.

So SI's one paragraph statement today, trying to close the issue, serves two masters: SI hopes people don't pry too much more into their shoddy reporting, and Mike Price hopes people forget that, well, he had a threesome (or foursome) with a bunch of strippers. One hand washing the other; that sounds like something a lobbyist might do.

SI Statement On Price Lawsuit [SI.com]
The Tabloidization Of Media [The New Republic] (subscription required)
Lobbyist To Appeal Fine [St. Petersburg Times]