Houston Nutt has formally filed a federal lawsuit against his former employer, alleging that head coach Hugh Freeze, AD Ross Bjork and sports information director Kyle Campbell have engaged in a public misinformation campaign against him in an effort to pin NCAA violations against him and away from Freeze.
Ole Miss is currently being investigated by the NCAA for a wide-ranging array of alleged violations spanning both tenures.
Here’s the money passage:
And here’s Nutt taking a direct, personal shot at Freeze.
Nutt’s suit states that Freeze held off-the-record conversations with journalists attempting to pin the violations on Nutt. The suit does not name the journalists but quotes some tweets directly, which we have collected below.
Here’s “Journalist No. 1”
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 29, 2016
“Journalist No. 2”
Source: Majority of alleged football violations at Ole Miss tied to Saunders/Academics/previous staff, not current coaching staff.
— Matt Wyatt (@RadioWyatt) January 29, 2016
“Journalist No. 3”
The other football-related stuff dates back to the Houston Nutt era. Hearing that stuff is six years old.
— Neal McCready (@NealMcCready) January 29, 2016
“Journalist No. 4”
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 30, 2016
“Journalist No. 7”
I'm told the Ole Miss Notice of Allegations doesn't contain any surprises. Most of it predates Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss knew it was coming.
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) January 29, 2016
The lawsuit lays out a case that Freeze and company conducted the same campaign with recruits. Said one to ESPN on Jan. 31, 2016, “(Freeze) said it was about things that had happened in the past before he got to Ole Miss.”
The suit also states Nutt left Ole Miss “in good standing” upon his 2011 departure. The Rebels went 2-10, and 0-8 in the SEC.
Nutt’s suit is the third active suit by a coach against his former employer, joining Bob Shoop’s countersuit against Penn State and Georgia Southern’s former co-offensive coordinators claiming fraud, breach of contract and tortious interference.
Nutt seeks damages due to lost wages, emotional distress, embarrassment, attorney’s fees and punitive damages.
By the way, Freeze and Ole Miss speak at SEC Media Days tomorrow.
See the full filing here.