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Houston Nutt reverses course, attorney says he no longer wants compensation

It was announced Monday morning that Houston Nutt is no longer seeking money for himself in his ongoing battle against Ole Miss. A simple apology from the Rebels' leadership to Nutt and a half-million bucks thrown toward philanthropy will reportedly make his lawsuit go away.

If this is a play by Nutt's attorney Thomas Mars to turn Nutt into a sympathetic figure, it's worked. At least on some.

Except that's not all Nutt ever wanted. Here's what Nutt was after one week ago today: "If you're asking whether coach Nutt would dismiss his lawsuit if Ole Miss would apologize without offering reasonable compensation for what coach Freeze did to him," Mars said, "the answer would be NO."

One week before that, on July 24th, Nutt's attorney told Pat Forde that what they wanted was: a public apology, a public acknowledgement that the school misled the public by portraying Nutt as the primary contributor to the NCAA Notice of Allegations and "a pile of compensatory cash for damages."

Let's go back to the original Federal filing, when Nutt made the case for punitive damages including lost wages, emotional distress, embarrassment, lawyer's fees and punitive damages.

Nutt filing

Ole Miss paid Nutt's buyout years ago in a $4.35 million lump sum payment, so Nutt's suit must prove that Freeze and the Rebels conducted a baseless defamation campaign against him, the result of which has kept Nutt from getting another job.

There's one problem with that: Much of what the NCAA alleged and Ole Miss officials reportedly said about Nutt is actually true. Ole Miss committed NCAA violations under Nutt -- plural. In its response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, Ole Miss did not contest the NCAA's accusations that multiple Nutt assistants conspired to funnel cash to recruits and help on-the-bubble recruits obtained fraudulent ACT scores.

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Again, Ole Miss agrees these things happened. David Saunders received an 8-year show cause and Chris Vaughn was dismissed from his assistant coaching job at Texas for their parts in committing NCAA infractions on Nutt's staff. Nutt hasn't even contested the allegations in his current suit against Ole Miss.

There is also another factor keeping Nutt from getting a new job: Houston Nutt.

Hired away from Arkansas after the 2007 season, Nutt hit the ground running in Oxford. He led the Rebels to back-to-back 9-4 seasons capped by consecutive Cotton Bowl wins and top-25 rankings. But then Ed Orgeron's recruits graduated, and the program cratered. Ole Miss was the worst team in the SEC in Nutt's final two years, slinking from an 18-8 run to a 6-18 free fall, including a 1-15 mark in the SEC.

Nutt will turn 60 this season. He last coached in 2011. Is it any grand surprise that a coach nearing 60, that cheated and lost big at his last job who hasn't coached since the SEC had 12 teams and the Big East still existed as a football conference can't find work?

Ole Miss's lawyers would certainly make that argument if this case ever goes to trial. Was any AD really going to hire Houston Nutt considering his latest results on the field and with the admission of guilt related to the NCAA charges.

Perhaps that could have something to do with why Mars is no longer seeking damages on Nutt's behalf.

Ole Miss representatives were wrong to conduct its coordinated PR campaign in an ultimately doomed effort to save Freeze's reputation. As we know now, that effort backfired tremendously. But while exposing Hugh Freeze's personal issues might help Nutt feel somewhat vindicated on the social media good guy/bad guy continuum, it won't actually help him prove in federal court that Ole Miss damaged his chances of getting another high-paying coaching job.

His own actions, and those of his staff, while the head coach at Ole Miss took care of that issue already.