Thomas Mars, the Arkansas-based attorney for former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, claims the university is trying to avoid full disclosure of more than five years of former coach Hugh Freeze’s phone records and is challenging the school’s estimate of $25,100 in legal fees to complete the request. In a letter sent to Ole Miss general counsel Friday and shared with USA TODAY Sports, Mars says the schools is engaging in “stonewalling tactics” for dealing with requests under the Mississippi Open Records Act. “From the very outset, the University has found all kinds of creative and illegitimate reasons to delay producing documents, redact documents without legal justification,” he wrote. Mars’ limited request for Freeze’s phone records from January 2016 uncovered a one-minute phone call to a Detroit number tied to an escort service. That revelation led Ole Miss to dive deeper into Freeze’s phone records, where the school says it found a pattern of inappropriate conduct. Freeze resigned on July 20. Mars filed a lawsuit July 12 on behalf of Nutt, alleging school officials, including Freeze and athletics director Ross Bjork, had pushed a false narrative through the media about the level of Nutt’s involvement in the school’s NCAA Notice of Allegations. Mars, who initially sought an apology from Ole Miss officials, connected phone calls from Freeze and Bjork to media members, who subsequently reported misleading information.
Attorney claims Ole Miss trying to avoid full disclosure of Hugh Freeze's phone records
USA Today | Jul 29