An important step has taken place in the lawsuit against Mississippi State players Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones filed by Oxford, Miss. clothing store Rebel Rags.
According to Antonio Morales of The Clarion-Ledger, Judge John Kelly Luther denied Lewis and Jones’ motions to sever and for transfer of venue in the case.
“This court finds defendants Jones and Lewis have been properly joined under Rule 20(a) as the relief asserted against these defendants arises from the same transaction, occurrence, or same series of transactions or occurrences, and common questions or law or fact to all parties will arise in action,” Luther ruled, according to Morales.
The lawsuit, filed by Rebel Rags in July, alleges that Lewis and Jones intentionally provided false statements to the NCAA. Lewis and Jones both stated that they received hundreds of dollars of merchandise for free from Rebel Rags while visiting the Oxford campus during Ole Miss’ recruitment of them.
Morales reports that the ruling indicates that the case still will be tried in Lafayette County in Oxford, where the store is located, as opposed to occurring in Oktibbeha County in Starkville, where Lewis and Jones made their claims.
“We respectfully disagree with the Court’s decision and believe it is inconsistent with well established Mississippi law,” said Chris Shapley, lawyer for Jones. “We will appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court as soon as possible.”
Lewis, a sophomore linebacker, and Jones, a redshirt freshman defensive lineman, have both played all season for the Bulldogs without any interruption from the case.