When Houston Nutt left Ole Miss in 2011, it was a negotiated divorce.
Nutt is now claiming in a lawsuit filed that Ole Miss breached the terms of his termination with the mess surrounding the Rebels’ football program and the NCAA investigation.
Interestingly enough, that investigation has lasted longer than Nutt’s tenure in Oxford and alleges a campaign by Ole Miss officials, including coach Hugh Freeze and athletics director Ross Bjork to place the blame on Nutt.
Which is true. That’s coming from someone who was in Oxford as Nutt’s time was coming to a shattering end and there for the past year around all of the NCAA investigations.
The lawsuit, obtained by Yahoo! Sports can be found in full here. This is among the more interesting parts:
“Coach Freeze had knowingly lied to the journalists and recruiting prospects by saying that the NCAA’s investigation had little, if anything, to do with him or his coaching staff and was instead focused on alleged rules violations by Coach Nutt’s staff,” the complaint says. “Coach Freeze falsely stated that most, if not all, of the NCAA’s allegations involved ‘Houston Nutt’ and his staff. At the time Coach Freeze made these statements, he was fully aware that they were patently false, yet he continued to make such statements, severely damaging Coach Nutt’s reputation. … The protection of Coach Freeze became the University’s Number One priority in dealing with the NCAA investigation.”
Being in Oxford for the past year, that was the spin those connected with the football program were trying to spin. I know. I heard it firsthand for a year.
With the Rebels appearing at SEC Media Days on Thursday, the timing of the lawsuit’s public release will make things interesting on the last day.
The guess here is a lot of the crowd that normally would halfway home by the time Hugh Freeze got to the biggest room will be hanging around.
Especially with his best friend in the SEC, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, coming on right after him. Remember, it was at Media Days in 2014 that Malzahn and then-Florida coach Will Muschamp ducked into the back of a small bar-restaurant off radio row.
That may have been the groundwork for Muschamp becoming the Tigers’ defensive coordinator the next year.
Interestingly enough, South Carolina — and Muschamp — will also be at Media Days tomorrow.
Get ready for an interesting day.
And Houston knew EXACTLY when to drop this grenade into Ole Miss’ lap.