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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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SI cleared to appeal ruling over sources in Price case

Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A federal judge cleared the way for Sports Illustrated to appeal a decision that would have forced the magazine to reveal sources used in a story about former Alabama football coach Mike Price.

U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith’s order Wednesday approved the appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals because the issue “involves a controlling question of law as to which there is a substantial ground for difference of opinion.”

In December, Smith ruled Alabama’s law allowing media outlets to protect sources’ identities did not apply to magazines.

Smith wrote Wednesday the “identity of the undisclosed sources is unquestionably relevant to a determination of the truth or falsity of statements attributed to those sources by defendants.”

Price coached at Washington State before going to Alabama. He filed a $20 million lawsuit against Time Inc., which publishes Sports Illustrated, over a story about the night of heavy drinking that led to Price’s firing at Alabama last year.

The judge also allowed depositions unrelated to the confidential sources to continue.

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