Hugh Freeze declines comment on suit, admits Ole Miss created 'adversity'
Jul 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".
Nutt released a statement through his attorney Wednesday saying in part, "The lawsuit speaks for itself".
The suit, filed in Oxford, Miss., says Ole Miss breached a severance agreement after he was sacked that made them "contractually prohibited from making any statement whatsoever relative to coach Nutt's tenure as an employee of Ole Miss that might damage or harm his reputation as a football coach".
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze tried to make light of the controversy around the program with an in-game strategy for a 2017 season in which the Rebels won't be eligible for the postseason.
The embattled Ole Miss football coach spent almost 17 minutes trolling the depths of his roster for tidbits that would delay the inevitable: questions about a lengthy NCAA investigation and a surprise lawsuit filed by former Rebels coach Houston Nutt on Wednesday.
Nutt claims newspaper reports and posts on social media by reporters after "off the record" conversations with Freeze and others made it seem the violations occurred during Nutt's four years as Ole Miss coach.
On the one hand, Freeze said he was in a situation that he failed to stop.
It fed a doomed campaign for empathy that's been wobbling along for awhile now; For the fifth time in six years, Freeze said, he had to field questions he wished didn't exist. "Unfortunately, it's a legal case, so I can't comment on it".
Later, Freeze admitted that his program did create the cloud swirling over it.
The lawsuit makes the hefty claim that Hugh Freeze, Ross Bjork, and Sports Information Director Kyle Campbell "reached an agreement in 2014 to carry out a carefully orchestrated misinformation campaign, the specific objective of which was to mislead the media, Ole Miss boosters, and potential recruiting prospects about the true nature of the matters that were being investigated by the NCAA".
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. "Coach Freeze falsely stated that most, if not all, of the NCAA's allegations involved "Houston Nutt" and his staff".
It's easy to see why Ole Miss is rallying around Freeze.
Filed Wednesday, the 21-page document alleged that Ole Miss representatives made "certain false and defamatory statements" about Nutt in the wake of an NCAA-issed Notice of Allegations 18 months ago. Shea Patterson is another star quarterback in the making. "I have never been around a group of guys and coaches that have worked has hard as we have in the spring and summer".