Former Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt is accusing the Rebels of making him a scapegoat for their recent NCAA troubles.
Nutt wants the university to publicly apologize for passing blame for alleged NCAA violations onto him and his former staff at Ole Miss, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde. If Nutt doesn’t get an apology, Nutt’s attorney says they might pursue legal action against the school.
“This was a smear campaign,” Nutt said. “If it weren’t so deceitful and morally wrong, it would probably go down in college football history as one of the best trick plays ever.”
After the NCAA’s first notice of allegations to Ole Miss, athletic director Ross Bjork issued a statement saying that “many of the allegations” against the football program went back to Nutt’s staff in 2010. However, only four of the 13 violations went back to Nutt’s tenure. The rest reportedly occurred under current coach Hugh Freeze.
Former Rebels left tackle Laremy Tunsil admitted at the 2016 NFL Draft that he took money while at Ole Miss, which reinvigorated the NCAA’s investigation. The NCAA has since issued another notice of allegations, including multiple Level I violations. The Rebels have self-imposed a postseason ban in response to the allegations.
Nutt, 59, thinks Ole Miss efforts to paint him as the one responsible for most of the violations impacted his chances of landing a head coaching job. He currently works as an analyst for CBS Sports.