Houston Nutt is back in the headlines.
That accusation stems from multiple reports by various media outlets that most of Ole Miss' football violations - which were revealed last January - occurred during Nutt's tenure as the Rebels' head coach from 2008-11. Those reports all cited anonymous sources, which Mars claims was a planned leak to take the heat off current coach Hugh Freeze.
"This was a smear campaign," Mars told Yahoo! Sports. "If it weren’t so deceitful and morally wrong, it would probably go down in college football history as one of the best trick plays ever."
Although major violations are alleged to have happened under Nutt's watch, nine of the 13 football violations in Ole Miss' Notice of Allegations from the SEC occurred since Freeze took over in 2012.
That number has since increased to 21 violations after the Laremy Tunsil 2016 NFL Draft drama.
Nutt said he believes the coverage of him as the bad guy has prevented him from landing another coaching job.
“My name wasn’t mentioned in the report but my name’s on the ticker [on television],” Nutt told Yahoo! Sports. “My name is thrown out there a lot. It’s a frustrating thing. I’m 59 years old. It’s not like I’m going to get the next big job. But you miss ball so much. … It’s just bad when you get hit from all sides and blindsided by it.”
If Nutt does not receive the apology he is looking for, then he could pursue legal action with a defamation suit, Mars said.
To read the entire column written by Pat Forde, click here.