When Houston Nutt’s lawyer speaks, Ole Miss listens.

The significance of this Wall Street Journal story concerning the allegation that coaches were using burner phones to contact recruits in ways that may not have been exactly kosher isn’t the truth of the allegation itself — the AD didn’t uncover any evidence that it occurred.

It’s that the school quickly jumped through hoops to respond to Thomas Mars’ warning.

In August, University of Mississippi athletic director Ross Bjork assembled the football team’s coaching staff in a meeting room. He handed out a form that asked the coaches to disclose whether they had used personal phones, including “prepaid phones, pay as you go, burner, etc.” for recruiting or any other work-related purpose.

If the coaches had done so, the form said, those phones could be subject to records requests or “required to be furnished upon request of the University or NCAA to ensure compliance with University, SEC and NCAA rules.”

The unusual demand was in response to an accusation that coaches at Ole Miss—already under NCAA investigation for recruiting violations—had improperly used burner phones to contact football recruits, according to records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The accusation came from a lawyer for Houston Nutt, a former Ole Miss coach who is suing the school over an alleged smear campaign by the school surrounding its ongoing NCAA investigation…

Then on July 25, five days after Freeze’s dismissal, Mars wrote a text message to the school’s lead lawyer alleging that Freeze and at least three other staff members used burner phones “on a regular basis” to hide communications with recruits that would violate NCAA rules. A later letter from Mars said he had a sworn affidavit testifying to Freeze’s use of burner phones, in violation of NCAA rules. The use of unreported burner phones would make it more difficult to monitor recruiting practices, which are strictly regulated by the NCAA.

Mars’s letter prompted Ole Miss to self-report the information to the NCAA and distribute the phone declaration form to the football staff. Of the 29 people who filled it out, the school says, none reported using a burner, prepaid or pay-as-you-go phone during their time at Ole Miss.

Of course, that does leave a few unanswered questions, starting with the fact that Ole Miss doesn’t appear to have forms filled out by its former coaches.  But it’s remarkable now to see any allegation made by the Nuttster’s attorney immediately put the school on DEFCON alert.


Filed under Freeze!

9 responses to “When Houston Nutt’s lawyer speaks, Ole Miss listens.

  1. Puffdawg

    Of course they were all “no’s”.

    “Did you take the cookie out of the jar?”
    “Why, yes, mother, I did.”

    Also, can’t you just imagine right now the slimy practices of Freeze and Co. “We’re calling you right now, illegally, because that’s how much you mean to us as a recruit!”


    • Puffdawg

      Also makes you wonder how many fake accounts are setup whereby coaches are communicating via social media during restricted times.


  2. Mayor

    Of course the coaches at Ole Miss used burner phones Senator. The purpose of the forms wasn’t for the Ole Miss AD to find out if burner phones were used. The real purpose was to generate documents to waive around to (1) prove that Ole Miss conducted an inquiry and (2) that the inquiry proved Ole Miss coaches didn’t do it. That absolves the Athletic Department and Ole Miss Administration from responsibility.


  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Several coaches are saying, as they read the Journal article: ‘That’s so 2 years ago.’


  4. The other Doug

    It’s like Nutt knows what kind of illegal tactics a coach at Ole Miss might resort to.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. AusDawg85

    Bjork…slamming the barn door closed long after the horses have gone.


  6. 69Dawg

    This Ole Miss thing is like looking at a train wreck in slow motion. If the NCAA doesn’t BBQ their butts it might as well give up any pretense of enforcement.