Federal Judge Neal Biggers has granted a motion to dismiss Houston Nutt’s defamation lawsuit against Ole Miss and related parties on jurisdictional grounds.
No word yet from his lawyer, Tom Mars, if he’ll now seek to move the action to state court. Nutt had complained that Ole Miss officials blamed him wrongly for current problems with the NCAA over recruiting violations. He wants an apology, he says, not money. The suit led directly, however, to the firing of coach Hugh Freeze after the discovery of a phone call he’d made to what’s reportedly the number of an escort service.
Judge Biggers said in a ruling issued in Oxford, Miss.:
This cause comes before the court upon the defendants’ Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction. Defendants argue that jurisdiction is lacking because both the University of Mississippi and the Board of Trustees for Institutions of Higher Learning are arms of the state of Mississippi and, consequently, are not “citizens” of any state for purposes of diversity jurisdiction.
In response to the instant motion, the plaintiff concedes that the defendants’ argument is meritorious and asserts “it is agreed that this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.” The court points out that the claims filed by the plaintiff involve no federal statutes or…
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