Billable hours are undefeated, especially when it comes to college athletics. One area of the country that is racking them up at an impressive rate is not surprisingly in the state of Mississippi.
The ongoing scandal at Ole Miss that has already led to the resignation/firing of Hugh Freeze continued this week as school officials filed paperwork late Thursday night looking to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by former head coach Houston Nutt. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger obtained the response filled by the university, its board of trustees and the school’s athletic department, which is seeking to throwout a complaint that officials allegedly conspired to propagate misinformation about the former coach as it relates to the sprawling NCAA scandal in Oxford.
“Nutt has attempted to create jurisdiction where none exists by misrepresenting the citizenship of the University of Mississippi and the IHL Board,” the response said. “As a court of limited jurisdiction, this Court should dismiss this action in its entirety.
“Alternatively, this Court should dismiss the claims against the University and the IHL Board based on their Eleventh Amendment immunity.”
Nutt is seeking compensation on multiple grounds as well as for attorney’s fees in the case. Not long after Ole Miss filed their motion to dismiss in the case, the former coach’s attorney in the matter, Thomas Mars, told USA Today that the school is “engaging in stonewalling tactics” as it relates to several records requests related to the case. Perhaps most notably, the university is seeking $25,100 in legal fees in order to turn over records and avoiding turning over the full five years worth of records from Freeze’s cell phone.
“There’s nothing they can do with those records except produce them,” Mars said. “There’s no reason for lawyers to look at them. They’re not allowed to redact them. Phone records aren’t privileged under any circumstances. This is just a bogus exercise they’re manufacturing to try to put a huge price tag on these records and deter me and other people from getting their hands on them. They can’t make me pay for their lawyers to review them. That’s their problem.”
As explosive as the allegations were that led to Freeze’s dismissal were last week, it appears both sides are gearing up for a long and messy fight that will continue dog the football program as they begin preseason preparations in the next few days. As entertaining as game days are in The Grove, it seems the courtroom might be just as interesting for the Rebels this fall.
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.
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.