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Houston Nutt Sues Ole Miss Over Alleged Defamation Of Character

houston nutt

A former big-time head coach filed a lawsuit against his former school.

Former Mississippi football coach Houston Nutt filed a civil lawsuit against the University and the Ole Miss Athletic Foundation on Wednesday.

In the lawsuit, Nutt accuses Ole Miss of breaching his contract via defamation of character, in relation to the school’s handling of an NCAA investigation.

According to a report from Pat Forde, the lawsuit "hammers current Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze and athletic director Ross Bjork for creating and perpetuating a “false narrative” regarding the nature of the NCAA’s long-running investigation."

Here's the claim from Nutt's suit against the University:

“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.”

You can view the entire lawsuit here.

Nutt was the head coach at Arkansas from 1998-2007 before taking the job at Ole Miss. He led the Rebels for three years before becoming a TV analyst. Nutt signed a separation agreement back in November 2011, but alleges the school violated the agreement. The longtime college football coach is reportedly suing the school for punitive damages and a "smear campaign" aimed at him.

The timing is interesting, as current Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze gets his turn to speak at SEC Media Days on Thursday, just one day after the lawsuit dropped.