Florida coach Dan Mullen, AD Scott Stricklin sued by Ole Miss apparel store

By Adam Silverstein
February 20, 2018
Florida coach Dan Mullen, AD Scott Stricklin sued by Ole Miss apparel store
Football

Image Credit: Tim Casey / UAA

Former Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen and athletic director Scott Stricklin — now in those respective roles with the Florida Gators — are named as defendants in a lawsuit by Rebel Rags, an Ole Miss apparel store located in Oxford, Mississippi.

Sports Illustrated‘s Bruce Feldman first reported that “NCAA investigator Mike Sheridan and the NCAA itself” are additional defendants in the lawsuit. Rebel Rags and owner Terry Warren, an Ole Miss booster, previously sued former Mississippi State stars Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones along with Lindsey Miller, the stepfather of Ole Miss star Laremy Tunsil, for “defamation, commercial disparagement and civil conspiracy,” according to the Clarion Ledger.

Feldman further reported Wednesday that Mullen and Stricklin are alleged to have “committed acts to aid and abet libel, slander [and] defamation,” with the suit labeling them co-conspirators alongside the aforementioned Mississippi State players. In fact, the lawsuit goes so far as to claim Mullen and Stricklin “unlawfully agreed and conspired to aid and abet the creation of a false narrative.” In other words, it is alleged Mullen and Stricklin not only told the players to lie but did so on purpose in order to hurt Ole Miss. Warren’s lawyer claims “pretty good proof” against Mullen and Stricklin, citing NCAA transcripts from Lewis and Jones.

As part of the NCAA’s extensive investigation into Ole Miss, it ruled that the Rebels must disassociate from Warren until Dec. 1, 2020. Warren claims Lewis, Jones and Miller made knowingly false statements that led to the NCAA’s punishment. It is alleged that Ole Miss staffers arranged for nearly $3,000 in impermissible benefits from Rebel Rags and those parties confirmed that merchandise was received.

It had previously been reported that Mullen and others in the Mississippi State athletic department may have discussed pending NCAA interviews with Jones and Lewis, allegedly informing the players they would be questioned by the NCAA and helping to coach them how to respond to protect both their eligibility and the Bulldogs at large.

“Simply put, the claims against Mr. Stricklin are wholly devoid of merit, and there is simply no good faith basis in either law or fact for Mr. Stricklin to have been made a party to such a case,” Stricklin’s attorney, Charles Winfield, told SI’s Andy Staples.

No statement has been released at this time on Mullen’s behalf.

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