The lawsuit complicates things significantly. Mars does not mess around. For 11 years, he served as Wal-Mart’s general counsel. He once was director of the Arkansas State Police. His bio says Mars has won verdicts or settlements worth approximately $50 million.
One source described him as one of the most powerful attorneys in Arkansas.
“Houston Nutt is the best client I’ve had in 30 years [practicing law],” Mars told CBS Sports.
The timing, something for which Mars has already demonstrated a deft touch, will continue to be bad for Ole Miss. First comes the NCAA…
The timetable will make for a fascinating season for Ole Miss. Because the committee isn’t likely to release its decision until November or later, Ole Miss probably won’t have to make any tough decisions regarding Freeze this season. The NCAA’s head coach responsibility legislation gives the committee the ability to suspend Freeze, but the season could be over before the ruling comes down.
… then comes discovery, right in the heart of recruiting closing season.
The NCAA suddenly shouldn’t be Ole Miss’ biggest worry. Unless the lawsuit is somehow dropped, it can end one of two ways: Ole Miss settling or the case going to trial.
I can guarantee you Ole Miss doesn’t want depositions under oath made public that would lay out everything. For better or worse, the NCAA process is secret.
See what I mean by Ole Miss being sloppy? The NCAA case is expected to be decided during the season, likely in November. A trial open to the public would be later — and messier.
Trial? The NCAA can tell you that what comes trickling out of sworn depositions can be just as deadly for the cause. There’s no way the school wants Freeze or Bjork going under oath in this.
You’d say it’s ripe for settlement, except one thing that appears to be motivating Nutt is an apology. Nothing that’s happened so far indicates Ole Miss is prepared to acknowledge anyone there has done something wrong, other than Barney Farrar. Hey, wait a minute — maybe they can get Barney to apologize for everything!