Ole Miss last week released the university’s response to February’s expanded Notice of Allegations from the NCAA, and the 125-page document addresses a litany of improper benefits allegedly funneled through a nefarious “Booster 8,” now known to be the Rebel-branded clothing retailer Rebel Rags in Oxford.
The university’s NOA response reveals that the NCAA is alleging upwards of $2,800 worth of gear went to Leo Lewis, Kobe Jones (both current Mississippi State players) and Laremy Tunsil’s estranged stepfather Lindsey Miller during the scope of the NCAA’s investigation. Rebel Rags’ suit charges that the “Defendant’s actions have and will continue to cause the Plaintiff financial damage,” insofar as Lewis, Jones, and Miller all claim to have received free gear.
Sports Illustrated received the following statement from Miller’s attorney, Matthew Wilson: “Lindsey Miller has been named in a lawsuit that was filed by a particular retail outlet. The complaint relates to comments Mr. Miller allegedly made to the NCAA. Mr. Miller intends to mount a vigorous defense to the Complaint in a court of law.”
Nothing’s known about where Lewis and Jones stand, since Mississippi State did not return requests for comment. Lewis was the highly touted and much coveted linebacker recruit out of Brookhaven who flipped from Ole Miss to State on National Signing Day.
Lewis also claimed to have received $10,000 hard cash from an Ole Miss booster — facilitated by former staffer Barney Farrar — and publicly flouted the announcement of increased violations after signing with State. His tweet that day — a GIF of Heath Ledger’s Joker gleefully clapping — was in fact cited in Ole Miss’ response letter to the NCAA, because nothing about this case can be too petty or stupid.
Rebel Rags’ attorney told SI that the store’s owners have received death threats, hate mail, and threats of boycott. The owners have seen that the university has dissociated itself from boosters already — including Cannon Motors, which gave Tunsil free rental cars — and if that were to happen to Rebel Rags, it may very well put the store out of business.
Rebel Rags expects to expand the scope of their suit in the future, according to the company’s attorney. You can read the entire suit here, as obtained by SI.