Ole Miss apologizes to Houston Nutt, settles his lawsuit | Arkansas Blog

Ole Miss apologizes to Houston Nutt, settles his lawsuit


HOUSTON NUTT: Settles with Ole Miss.
  • HOUSTON NUTT: Settles with Ole Miss.
Tom Mars of Little Rock, attorney for Houston Nutt, the former Arkansas and Ole Miss football coach, called my attention this morning to news that Nutt had settled his lawsuit against Ole Miss officials for speaking negatively about him despite a no-disparagement agreement with the school following his departure as head coach. From Deadspin:

In a joint statement, Ole Miss announced that the school reached a settlement agreement with Nutt—he requested in August that the school formally apologize for spreading lies about NCAA violations taking place during his run as head coach of the football team and donate $500,000 to start a Mississippi state sports ethics commission. While there was no mention of Ole Miss having or contributing to the ethics [commission], the school did issue the following apology:

Certain statements made by University employees in January 2016 appear to have contributed to misleading media reports about Coach Nutt. To the extent any such statements harmed Coach Nutt’s reputation, the University apologizes, as this was not the intent.The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations dated January 22, 2016, did not name or implicate Coach Nutt in any misconduct, and it would have been inappropriate for any University employee to suggest otherwise.
For his part, though, Nutt kept his statement short and sweet:

I am pleased to put the lawsuit behind me. Best wishes to the future of the Ole Miss Football program.

Nutt almost certainly squeezed a sizable chunk from Ole Miss’s bank account, either for himself or a future commission that will presumably be tasked with making sure college coaches don’t do things like call escorts from their school-issued cell phone. His lawyer, Thomas Mars, went on-record with Pat Forde 10 days after the lawsuit was filed to say that Nutt would not accept a mere apology at that point, and given how they’ve handled this case, I’m not getting into the business of doubting Houston Nutt.

I've asked Mars if the agreement includes any current or future payments to Nutt, attorney fees or charitable or other contributions. But he and other lawyers in the agreement have declined comment on that point to the Jackon's newspaper.

Mars response to me:

Sorry, Max. We can’t comment on or disclose anything related to the settlement agreement or the press release. All we can do is acknowledge the resolution of the litigation. 

If you're into SEC bigtime football nitty gritty, these Ole Miss podcasters have lots of thoughts, including that Nutt was bound to win his complaint and that the settlement might have included more than apology.

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