Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze talks NCAA investigation, Houston Nutt lawsuit

Erica Murray
July 14, 2017

John Daughaday told Local 24, "Since we're on the topic of Houston Nutt, he kinda, I hate to say he drug us down, but when he left in 2011 we were down bad".

The suit also contends that Ole Miss has made it hard for Nutt to find another coaching job.

Former Ole Miss Head Football Coach Houston Nutt is accusing the school and it's athletics foundation of conspiring to defame him. The defense is more sound than a year ago and Ole Miss and the Rebels find a way to win enough games to become bowl eligible.

In addition to facing almost two dozen NCAA allegations over recruiting violations - including the recruitment of offensive tackle Laramy Tunsil of Lake City - Freeze and other university officials became defendants in a defamation of character and breach of contract lawsuit filed on Wednesday by former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who alleges Freeze and the Ole Miss administration enlisted the media in "a deceitful strategy" to claim most of the violations occurred when Nutt was the coach from 2008-2011.

Ole Miss received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA in 2016 that alleged 13 rules violations, including nine that happened during Freeze's tenure.

This is like the fifth year in a row I've come here and can't talk about our players, which is frustrating because they've handled it beautifully and have been a great encouragement to me.

"I would love to share my options on it, but it's a legal case, and I just can't comment".

Later, Freeze admitted that his program did create the cloud swirling over it. Nutt is seeking unspecified punative damages. Freeze, his football program and the university are scheduled to appear in front of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions later this year.

Mars, in the complaint, alleges the trio came to an agreement to carefully orchestrate a misinformation campaign to mislead media, prospects and university boosters about NCAA matters.

"It is now clear that [the reporter's] unnamed sources gave him false and misleading information", the lawsuit states. For the most part, Freeze did not address the lawsuit or the NCAA investigation, instead offering plenty of life-coach platitudes-"mental toughness is the secret sauce"-and deflecting questions about how he felt about the case".

It's easy to see why Ole Miss is rallying around Freeze.

"I don't think I've spoken to him since I've begged him to keep me", he said, per theClarion Ledger.

"Adversity tends to crumble people or brings guys together", said quarterback Shea Patterson.

Other reports by Insurance News

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