There was another major development Friday in the Houston Nutt-Ole Miss saga as Dan Wolken of USA Today reported that Ole Miss officials were told not to make statements that could harm Nutt’s reputation as a football coach.
That language was part of the separation agreement between Nutt and the university in 2011.
Nutt alleged in a lawsuit that former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was part of a smear campaign against Nutt, and that Freeze called a number of journalists in January 2016 and told them that many of the allegations cited by the NCAA had occurred during the Nutt era at Ole Miss.
Nutt was the coach at Ole Miss from 2008 to 2011. He filed a lawsuit against Freeze and the school in July.
Through the discovery process, a number of phone calls Freeze had made came to light. This led to Freeze’s resignation as it came out that Freeze had made a phone call to an escort service.
Earlier this week, a federal judge dismissed Nutt’s case against the school, but Nutt’s attorney, who provided Wolken with the agreement that Ole Miss would not harm Nutt’s reputation, said he would refile the case in state court.
Ole Miss rejected a settlement offer that included a public apology and a $500,000 donation that would go toward a college sports ethics commission in Mississippi.
On Friday, it also was reported that Freeze threatened to have a reporter arrested after the reporter asked Freeze a question about Barney Farrar, another key figure in the NCAA investigation who was fired in December.