Suit filed by Laremy Tunsil’s stepdad seeks to depose Hugh Freeze

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Laremy Tunsil‘s playing career may be over, but the standout offensive lineman’s impact on the football program still lingers outside of the ongoing NCAA issues.

One day before Tunsil is expected to be selected in the Top 10 of the NFL draft — certain that’s merely a coincidence — the Jackson Clarion-Ledger is reporting, Tunsil’s stepfather, Lindsay Miller, has filed a lawsuit against the former Rebel player.  The suit “alleges that Tunsil attacked Miller last June and that Tunsil defamed Miller’s character” the Clarion-Ledger wrote, adding these two things were an “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

Tunsil alleged that he was merely defending his mother, Miller’s wife, when he and Miller became engaged in a physical confrontation.  Just prior to that, Miller had accused Tunsil of an improper relationship with a sports agent.  The 2016 early draft entrant missed the first seven games of the 2015 season as “it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.”

Both Miller and Tunsil filed domestic violence charges against each other, but those were dropped two months later.  At the time of the incident, head coach Hugh Freeze released a statement that said, in part, the incident involved “Laremy defending his mother against his stepfather.”

That statement is part of what’s caught the Rebels coach in the legal crosshairs.  From the paper:

Furthermore, Defendant Tunsil knew, or should have known, that Coach Hugh Freeze, in particular, would repeat his remarks to local, state, and/or national media given Defendant Tunsil’s critical role on the Ole Miss football team.

“In fact, Coach Freeze and/or others did just that. As a result, Defendant Tunsil’s malicious statements, as repeated by Coach Freeze and others, caused irreparable damage to Mr. Miller’s reputation, the nature and scope of which will be determined at trial.

The lawsuit requests Freeze’s deposition because it alleges Tunsil discussed the situation with Freeze and then “Coach Freeze and (an) anonymous source effectively announced to millions of people via a national cable network [ESPN] that Mr. Miller had assaulted his wife.

The lawsuit filed by Miller requests Freeze, along with offensive line coach Matt Luke, be deposed as part of proceedings. Miller is seeking “compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and all costs associated with the suit because of ‘past, present, and future bodily injury, pain & suffering, severe emotional distress, medical costs, damage to reputation, and/or other types of damages that he has incurred (and Will Likely continue to incur).’”

Again, the lawsuit comes one day before Tunsil is expected to be a Top 10 draft pick and will ultimately sign a contract worth in excess of $12 million over the life of the deal.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.