Source: Majority of alleged football violations at Ole Miss tied to Saunders/Academics/previous staff, not current coaching staff.
— Matt Wyatt (@RadioWyatt) January 29, 2016
The tweet from January 2016 is listed as evidence in the lawsuit filed today by former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. Wyatt is listed as “Journalist #2” and his tweet appears on page 13.
The other football-related stuff dates back to the Houston Nutt era. Hearing that stuff is six years old.
— Neal McCready (@NealMcCready) January 29, 2016
Now on to “Journalist Number 3”, Neal McCready. Neal published his tweet the same day as Matt, as the former Ole Miss coach alleges. Hugh Freeze allegedly called him on January 21st and told Neal the false narrative he was trying to push according to the lawsuit filed this morning. Consistent with this, Neal reported later that day that: “very minimal number” of allegations are tied to the current football staff, and those are related to former Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. . . . Most of the football-related allegations, the source said, date back to Houston Nutt’s tenure. Nutt coached Ole Miss from 2008 through 2011.”
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 29, 2016
Listed as “Journalist Number 1,” Pat Forde ran a story on January 29th about Ole Miss formally being charged with the rule violations, which Nutt alleges was the beginning of Hugh Freeze’s campaign to discredit this claim by contacting local journalists to push his side of the story.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 30, 2016
This brings us to “Journalist Number 4”, who is Bruce Feldman. The lawsuit alleges that, “In a 5 minute telephone conversation that Coach Freeze initiated with Journalist #4 beginning at 3:15 p.m. on January 29, 2016, Coach Freeze told the journalist a version of the false narrative. An hour and twenty minutes later, Journalist #4 posted news story that included the following statement: “Multiple sources tell FOX Sports that the majority of the allegations stem from women’s basketball and track as well as from incidents occurring with the previous Rebels football staff from the Houston Nutt era, and that the Notice of Allegations does not contain anything that surprises the program”
Now we get to AP sports reporter David Brandt, or “Journalist Number 5.” The lawsuit states that David Brandt had called Hugh Freeze after Pat Forde’s story broke, and had a conversation with him, where Freeze pushed his false narrative. Then, forty minutes later, Ole Miss Athletic Director Ross Bjork allegedly called Brandt to further push Ole Miss’s narrative. Then, only about 1 hour and 30 minutes later, David ran a story with the following statements in it: “Some of the allegations regarding the football program date back to previous coach Houston Nutt, but others involve current coach Hugh Freeze’s tenure, a person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing..
. . .
The announcement was not unexpected but comes at a bad time for the football program, which is trying to lock down one of the nation’s most highly regarded recruiting classes before national signing day on Wednesday.”
I’m told the Ole Miss Notice of Allegations doesn’t contain any surprises. Most of it predates Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss knew it was coming.
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) January 29, 2016
However, Chris Low then posted a story, according to the lawsuit, stating: “Allegations connected to Mississippi’s football team largely derived from the 2008 11 tenure of Houston Nutt, sources said. Freeze was named the Rebels’ coach in December 2011. Sources told ESPN.com that the new football violations in the NCAA’s report centered primarily on the Tunsil case. “This is a fraction involving our current football staff,” a source told ESPN’s [Journalist #9]. “Some of those things we’ve already self-imposed some penalties around and already dealt with. This just happens to be part of a broader process.” (emphasis added).
1. Pat Forde
2. Matt Wyatt
3. Neal McCreadey
4. Bruce Feldham
5. David Brandt
6. Chris Low
7. Joe Schad
9. Edward Ashcoff