Things are a mess over at Ole Miss right now, and they may not get any better if the University doesn’t apologize to former head football coach Houston Nutt, who has a federal lawsuit going against the school, basically for defamation of character.
According to a report from Mark Schlabach of ESPN, Nutt is willing to settle the lawsuit if Ole Miss apologizes to him for making “inaccurate statements about him to the media”. The University will also need to donate $500,000 to establish a state of Mississippi commission on sports ethics.
More details, per Schlabach, who quoted Nutt’s attorney:
“The settlement proposal we presented to Ole Miss [on Friday] is focused on the apology Houston Nutt has consistently asked for and fully deserves,” Mars said. “After all, there’s no longer any doubt about what happened here.
“More than a few unbiased sports reporters have talked openly on the radio and in podcasts in recent weeks about how Hugh Freeze ‘lied’ to the press in order to falsely portray Houston Nutt as the primary target of the NCAA’s investigation. What’s more, other journalists have come out of the woodwork since the lawsuit was filed to share with us their personal recollections of how they too were duped by Coach Freeze. If for no other reason, Ole Miss owes Houston an apology.”
Nutt is suing because he believes now former head coach Huge Freeze and Mississippi athletic director Ross Bjork disparaged him in off the record comments to reporters — basically pinning him as the main source of all of Ole Miss’ rule violations. The lawsuit is saying that the statements, even off the record, violate Nutt’s separation agreement with the school.
It’s also becoming more and more clear that Freeze was actually the issue at Ole Miss. The school went from the middle of the pack in the SEC to one of the top recruiting school in the nation…all of a sudden. Many were willing to give Freeze the credit, saying that it was his personality and ability to recruit, but there were clues that suggested perhaps something fishy was going on — a prime example being Laremy Tunsil’s NFL Draft fiasco.
Freeze resigning was hopefully rock bottom for the program, though if Ole Miss doesn’t clear things up with Nutt — things could get worse.