Former Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt re-filed a lawsuit against the University of Mississippi Wednesday morning in Lafayette County Circuit Court, 44Sports has confirmed. The suit is against the school’s athletic foundation and the IHL Board of Trustees.
Nutt’s lawsuit alleges the defendants violated the non-disparagement clause of the separation agreement Nutt entered with Ole Miss when he stepped down as the head football coach in 2011.
According to the lawsuit Nutt filed against Ole Miss in July for breach of contract via defamation of character, Nutt, University of Mississippi, and the University of Mississippi Athletics Foundation agreed to part ways on Nov. 26, 2011. Nutt left the university in “good standing.”
Nutt claims that the university violated the clause by orchestrating a smear campaign across sports media, intending to place blame on him for NCAA allegations against the football program.
An exhibit obtained by 44Sports Wednesday cites examples of media reporting the “false narrative.” More than 20 reports published by Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, USA Today and ESPN are included in the exhibit.
The July lawsuit states former Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze and athletic director Ross Bjork created a “false narrative” surrounding the NCAA’s extensive investigation into the football program in January 2016. The suit details “off the record” phone conversations during that month from Freeze and Bjork to media that allegedly influenced reporting on the Notice of Allegations. That resulted in journalists reporting that the violations occurred during Nutt’s tenure.
Of the 21 violations against Ole Miss Football, four of them Level I, are against former Ole Miss staffer Barney Farrar. 44News reported June 7 that Ole Miss decision makers conspired against Farrar. The football program has forfeited its participation in the post-season this season.
Bruse Loyd, Farrar’s attorney, said that he nor Farrar would comment on the lawsuit.