“I would have to ask, and have asked, are you telling me that with a straight face?”

Houston Nutt’s attorney keeps dialing up the rhetoric.

“There can be no doubt, especially when it comes to athletics, that Ole Miss holds the SEC record for sure for being the most notorious flagrant violator of their state’s open record laws.

“From what I’ve learned in the past two weeks, I dare say they probably hold the same record when compared to every other Division I school in the country.’’

Greg McGarity smiles knowingly.  You can’t easily violate an Open Record law you rewrite for your own benefit, Ole Miss.

In Mars’ defense, the school does appear to be engaged in some fairly deep hairsplitting.

The school said in the letter that Freeze’s phone was provided by the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation and that allowed Freeze to use the phone for personal and business calls. The foundation is a private, non-profit organization that provides “direct and indirect funding … and other support for the University of Mississippi department of intercollegiate athletics,” according to its most recently available federal tax records.

In the letter, university assistant general counsel Robert T. Jolly, wrote that cell phones used by athletics personnel, including Freeze, are provided by the foundation. Jolly wrote that “Mississippi law prohibits personal use of state-issued cell phones and requires elaborate and time-consuming reconciliation of all activities on state cell phones. As a result, very few University employees use state-issued phones. This has been the case for about ten years.”

However, Jolly also wrote that to ensure compliance with NCAA rules, the foundation “provides the University detailed usage information designed to meet our compliance needs.”

Beyond that, Ole Miss contends that, due to the labor-intensive nature of the task, that it will cost more than $20,000 to review all of Freeze’s phone records.  Despite that,

Hugh Freeze is being given the opportunity to review and redact phone records of calls he deemed personal during his five years as the University of Mississippi’s football coach, the university’s general counsel, Lee Tyner, said Thursday.

To be fair, Hugh probably does have a lot of time on his hands these days.

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15 Comments

Filed under Freeze!, See You In Court

15 responses to ““I would have to ask, and have asked, are you telling me that with a straight face?”

  1. mwo

    I saw yesterday there is a strip club in Starkvegas having a Hugh Freeze tribute party.

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  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    “Hugh Freeze is being given the opportunity to review and redact phone records of calls he deemed personal.”

    With no judicial scrutiny? Sheesh.

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    • AusDawg85

      I’m sure most of them are about mundane things like his daughter’s wedding plans, notes to assistants, and national security issues with the Russians.

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    • Warthen

      I suspect his redactions will require a privilege log detailing the reason for the redaction, and the redactions will also be subject to the judge’s review if opposing counsel asks.

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  3. dawgfan

    Could this be concealment of transactions and layering of entities to facilitate payments for transactions prohibited by law? Who knew what and when? Is this the tip of the iceberg? This is turning into a real life John Grisham novel.

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  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    Hell, Hugh proly kept a list of all his “good” phone numbers on his state-owned Ipad.

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  5. Cojones

    Is it possible to get a list from the phone co.? Plus, he redacted the phone numbers before sending to Mars and only missed one and now, after being burned for carelessness, why wouldn’t he redact them all except the ones to his pastor?

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  6. Southernlawyer11

    Question for you litigation lawyers out there: and maybe I’ve missed a piece of the story. At this point I’m working under the assumption that it was always about “the money” for team Nutt despite their statements to the contrary. And I’m sure Mars probably has some type of contingency arrangement with Nutt (1/3rd ?) so maybe he’s looking to cash in even more than Nutt is…

    Was it that Rose Bowl guy that unilaterally found and leaked the call to the escort ? Or did Mars have a role to play in it too ? Seems to me, from Mars’ standpoint, that would be “blowing your wad” to early in the negotiations. Killing the hostage so to speak. If I’m Ole Miss, I feel fairly confident Houston Nutt can’t prove more than $1 in damages for the lawsuit, and since they have already burnt my program to the ground, I will let them happily kiss my ass trying to extort me for any money. I have nothing more to lose.

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    • If I’m Ole Miss, I feel fairly confident Houston Nutt can’t prove more than $1 in damages for the lawsuit, and since they have already burnt my program to the ground, I will let them happily kiss my ass trying to extort me for any money. I have nothing more to lose.

      That’s not the issue.

      The issue is what’s the value of not letting Mars find where are the bodies are buried, so to speak. Unless Ole Miss is pure as the driven snow, you can bet your ass that’s north of a dollar. Considerably so.

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      • Southernlawyer11

        Ok, but confining the discussion to just phone records for now, the worst thing they could find would be from an NCAA standpoint. (the rest is already in ashes). And since they can’t get the content of a text message or phone call, that means what ? Evidence of contact during dead periods ?

        For broader Discovery issues, I have no idea of the current interpretations of the breadth of Discovery (haven’t been in a court room in 8 yrs !), but wouldn’t Ole Miss be able to fend off a pure fishing expedition designed to inflict NCAA damage away since much of it would not be related to the alleged defamation of Houston Nutt ?

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        • “Pure fishing expedition”? How are you so sure about that?

          Look, Hugh Freeze is already out of a job and a $15 million buyout. You think he wouldn’t like a mulligan over Nutt’s apology?

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  7. 69Dawg

    The whole fish rot from the top thing comes to mind. Ole Miss has been under NCAA investigation forever and in all that time covering both Nutt and Freeze they had never ever reviewed Freeze’s calls from the cell phone, I call BS on that. Ole Miss reviewed those call records but failed to report anything to the NCAA about anything that might smell like a recruiting violation? Oh come now. This is a case of the school and the coach playing kitty cat in a litter box and covering that shit up.

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