Houston Nutt has filed a defamation lawsuit against his former employer, Ole Miss, which might make things slightly weird for Nutt’s colleagues who have to interview Hugh Freeze and other Ole Miss officials.
“It definitely made it different for me,” College Football Today host Adam Zucker said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I was Hugh Freeze’s first stop on Thursday morning as well, although he was quoted between landing there, getting to the hotel and coming to our room. Someone had gotten a hold of him, and he said he had no comment – and I expected him to have no comment. I acknowledged that there was a new lawsuit from Houston Nutt. They know that he has worked with us, but I think they can trust that I’m not going to be asking questions any differently just because I share a desk with Houston sometimes.”
Nutt filed his lawsuit during SEC Media Days – a day before Freeze took the podium, in fact.
That was not an accident.
“Houston and I are very friendly,” Zucker said. “I even texted him the night before when that came out, ‘Nice timing.’ And he wrote back, ‘Should make Media Day interesting.’ So of course the timing was not coincidental. But it wasn’t like I was, ‘Hey, Houston, tell me what I should say. Hey, Houston, what should I follow up with?’ I wouldn’t do that, and Hugh Freeze answered how I expected him to.”
Ole Miss has been under NCAA investigation for nearly five years. A recent curveball, though, has many people, including Zucker, questioning the legitimacy of certain NCAA investigations. In June, Rebel Rags, an Oxford clothing store, filed a lawsuit against two Mississippi State players – Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones – for “false statements made to the NCAA.” Lewis and Jones claim that they received approximately $2,800 in free merchandise from the store during their recruitment.
“Is it a good thing to give 18- to 22-year-olds immunity when you’re interviewing them about how their archival school recruited them?” Zucker wondered. “Things that these kids say could open up doors for the NCAA to go down to investigate something at their school or another school. I just don’t know if the end result is what everybody wants. I’m not saying, ‘Cheat all you want.’ But it just seemed odd because these guys thought they had immunity. It gets pretty complicated. And (Freeze) said, ‘I’m not going to comment on an active NCAA investigation, but I do think that it is a dangerous tactic.’ So he did comment very briefly about that. He did talk about how the hatred between Ole Miss and Mississippi State has gotten out of control and how he has family members on both sides and the venom and the off-the-field stuff that’s going on between the two schools and their fan bases is just becoming nonsensical.”