Houston Nutt's attorney proposes settlement offer with Ole Miss | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Houston Nutt's attorney proposes settlement offer with Ole Miss

Posted By on Sat, Aug 5, 2017 at 10:25 AM

click to enlarge NUTT: Proposes settlement.
  • NUTT: Proposes settlement.

Tom Mars
, the Friday Firm lawyer representing former Arkansas and Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt in Nutt's lawsuit against Ole Miss, sent along a statement last night on a settlement offer he has presented Ole Miss on behalf of Nutt. Mars did not provide the details of the agreement.

Nutt sued Ole Miss earlier this month, alleging defamation of character related to an NCAA investigation into the university. Nutt said Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze, who succeeded Nutt, and other school officials had tried to pin recruiting violations on Nutt. Mars later pointed Ole Miss to phone records, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, that suggested Freeze had called an escort service. Freeze initially said it was a misdial, but Ole Miss officials said they found a pattern and Freeze was forced to resign.

Here's Mars' statement:

The settlement proposal we presented to Ole Miss earlier today is focused on the apology Houston Nutt has consistently asked for and fully deserves. After all, there's no longer any doubt about what happened here.

More than a few unbiased sports reporters have talked openly on the radio and on podcasts in recent weeks about how Hugh Freeze "lied" to the press in order to falsely portray Houston Nutt as the primary target of the NCAA's investigation. What's more, other journalists have come out of the woodwork since the lawsuit was filed to share with us their personal recollections of how they too were duped by Coach Freeze. So purely from a moral standpoint, if for no other reason, Ole Miss owes Houston an apology.

Contrary to what some people have suggested about Coach Nutt's motives, the settlement proposal we submitted today isn't designed to put money in Houston's bank account. This lawsuit was never about money. Beginning many months ago and continuing until today, Houston's issues with Ole Miss have been about honor, the preservation of his well-earned good name and reputation for integrity, and accountability.

With that in mind, what we proposed earlier today creates an opportunity for Ole Miss to do something positive for student athletes all across Mississippi, for Ole Miss to have a leadership role in that effort, and to "do the right thing" by Coach Nutt.

Given the alternatives at hand, it's difficult to imagine a more selfless and virtuous way for Houston to clear his name while giving Ole Miss an easy and painless exit from this unpleasant litigation.

We expect Ole Miss to be very pleased with our proposal and look forward to hearing from the University's lawyers. 
Earlier in the week, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger got Ole Miss's perspective on the Nutt lawsuit:

"In characterizing the severance agreement in the Complaint, Mr. Nutt’s lawyer has selectively omitted key language from the relevant sentence," said David Kaufman, the attorney for the Ole Miss Athletic Foundation. "In the 2011 negotiations of the severance agreement, Mr. Nutt’s lawyer at the time asked for a non-disparagement provision, but the request was refused. Instead, we simply agreed to give a directive to certain people, and we did exactly what we promised."

The university's outside counsel contends the directive was aimed at a control group, which didn't include Hugh Freeze, Ross Bjork, or Kyle Campbell, Ole Miss' associate athletic director for communications. They also argued the directive wasn't an ongoing stipulation. Most of the members of the control group have since departed the university, including former chancellor Dan Jones and athletic director Pete Boone.

Thomas Mars, Nutt's attorney, contends there's a provision in the severance agreement which prohibits Nutt from disclosing the agreement. So instead of using the specific language, he paraphrased it in the initial complaint in order to avoid a breach.

As far as the directive and its interpretation, Mars, who said he's going up against some of the finest lawyers in Mississippi, said Thursday: “The law in Mississippi and elsewhere thoroughly rejects interpretations of contracts that are absurd and nonsensical."

Tags: , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The Dark Money Edition

    The coming primary and judicial elections, especially the dark money flowing into a race for an Arkansas Supreme Court position; also Leslie Rutledge and the ballot initiative process and the Razorbacks and War Memorial.
    • May 18, 2018
  • The Leslie Rutledge Sovereign Immunity Trap Edition

    The Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District, sovereign immunity and Leslie Rutledge and the Little Rock mayoral race — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • May 11, 2018
  • Samantha's again wins the Arkansas Times Second Annual Margarita Fest

    Congratulations to Samantha's Tap Room & Wood Grill for winning the Arkansas Times Second Annual Margarita Festival presented by Don Julio Tequila last night. The Pizzeria was the runner-up. Thanks to the 600 people who came out to the sold-out event, proceeds of which benefited the Downtown Partnership.
    • May 11, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The inspiring Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's campaign for president illustrates again the double standard applied to women. Some writers get it. They even find the supposedly unlikable Clinton inspiring.
    • Oct 16, 2016
  • Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to rehear invalidation of marijuana act

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Election night open line

    • THANK YOU, Going. Just what I was thinking about waiters and vineyard workers when I…

    • on May 22, 2018
  • Re: Election night open line

    • Congratulations to Stacey Abrams ! Look at what Alabama and Georgia are doing in their…

    • on May 22, 2018
  • Re: Election night open line

    • Trump wants to limit skilled and educated workers from entry to the USA, But no…

    • on May 22, 2018



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation