If Ole Miss thought it had seen the last of Houston Nutt, they may want to think again. And fast.
In the midst of an NCAA “situation” that has already result in significant penalties for the football program, the university attempted to paint the football-related issues as having mainly occurred on Nutt’s watch when he was the Rebels’ head coach from 2008-11. Nutt wasn’t pleased with the portrayal at the time the Notice of Allegations was issued in May of last year, and certainly isn’t happy a year later.
“It hurts you,” Nutt told Yahoo Sports‘ Pat Forde. “It devastates you. …
“My name wasn’t mentioned in the report but my name’s on the ticker [on television]. My name is thrown out there a lot. It’s a frustrating thing.”
Nutt’s attorney, Thomas Mars, takes it a step further, telling Forde that, if a public apology from Ole Miss isn’t forthcoming, he has every intention of filing a defamation lawsuit against the university on his client’s behalf.
“I would hope this wouldn’t become a legal situation,” Mars said. “But if the university doesn’t recognize at some point the damage that’s been done … I would like to think the appropriate action will be taken.
“This was a smear campaign. If it weren’t so deceitful and morally wrong, it would probably go down in college football history as one of the best trick plays ever.”
There were 13 allegations made by the NCAA against the Ole Miss football program. Nine of those, the majority of which are relatively minor in nature, came during Hugh Freeze‘s time with the Rebels.
In an updated NOA released in February of this year, the NCAA charged the university with lack of institutional control. The university also self-imposed a one-year bowl ban and agreed to forfeit all postseason revenue for the 2017 season, which could be upwards of $7 million.
Freeze was charged with violating head coach responsibility legislation.