Oxford-based apparel store Rebel Rags has been caught up in the Ole Miss NCAA scandal. Now, it is suing former Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.
Rebel Rags's alleged role in the scandal has been a part of the story since February. Among the violations listed was that two former Ole Miss recruits who ended up at Mississippi State received thousands of dollars in free gear from the store. From Rivals:
Ole Miss is disputing allegations that former prospects (we’re pretty sure including Lewis and Mississippi State teammate Kobe Jones) received $2,800 in benefits from an Oxford establishment (Rebel Rags) and an allegation that a prospect received meals from an Oxford restaurant valued at between $200 and $600.
The two players were given immunity by the NCAA to speak about violations. The fact that they ended up at Ole Miss's hated Egg Bowl rival makes things even more rough for the Rebels.
Rebel Rags on Friday filed its response to Mississippi State player Kobe Jones, one of three defendants along with Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis and Lindsey Miller, the estranged stepfather of former Ole Miss lineman Laremy Tunsil, that the Oxford-based retail clothing store is suing for defamation, commercial disparagement and civil conspiracy. Rebel Rags challenged motions filed by Jones earlier this month to dismiss, sever from Lewis and Miller and transfer venues for the case.
Now we know a bit more about Rebel Rags' targets.
The store is not only going after the NCAA, which named it as a booster in question in the case against Ole Miss. It is also targeting former Mississippi State officials.
According to FOX Sports college football insider Bruce Feldman, the lawsuit includes head coach Dan Mullen and athletic director Scott Stricklin. Both men have since left for the same jobs at University of Florida.
The store alleges that Mullen and Mississippi State football used the two then-recruits to conspire against the store. According to the Clarion Ledger, the lawsuit features a number of other individuals, including the two Bulldogs players.
Rebel Rags, the Oxford-based outlet store, filed a lawsuit against Mullen, Stricklin, Sheridan, the NCAA, Mississippi State's Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones, and Lindsey Miller, Laremy Tunsil's estranged stepfather, in Lafayette County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Some strange things happen in SEC recruiting. These allegations are right up there, but they are hardly surprising.