BATON ROUGE, LA – OCTOBER 25: Head coach Hugh Freeze of the Mississippi Rebels reacts to a call during the game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 25, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Laremy Tunsil may be long gone from Ole Miss, but his legacy is still causing problems for the school’s football program. If his turbulent draft day — during which he admitted to receiving impermissible benefits while in school — was not enough, his ongoing lawsuit with his stepfather threatens to drag the Ole Miss program even further into the mire.

Head Coach Hugh Freeze may be deposed in the civil suit between Tunsil and his stepfather, Lindsey Miller. However, Freeze’s lawyers are taking steps to ensure his potential testimony is limited to written questions, only matters concerning Tunsil and Miller, and sealed for good measure.

Freeze is understandably wary of his testimony getting into the hands of the NCAA, which could result in consequences for Ole Miss. In fact, he directly cites concerns over the NCAA for the reasoning behind his request to block the deposition, “at this time, the NCAA is considering allegations against the University and its football program, including allegations related to [Tunsil].

However, it appears Miller is not willing to let Freeze slide by so easily.

A motion for protective order filed Tuesday in Lafayette County Circuit Court argues that there is “no basis for deposing Freeze at any point concerning his claims against Defendant [Tunsil]” and describes the request “as a fishing expedition as to Freeze’s liability.”

“In support [of the request to depose Freeze], Plaintiff [Lindsey Miller] contends…Freeze’s deposition may (i) reveal, before the statute of limitations runs on June 28, 2016, Freeze’s ‘motivations’ for publishing the written statement, (ii) prove Plaintiff’s defamation claim against Defendant, and (iii) disclose the identity of certain witnesses,” the motion reads.

The lawsuit in question was filed by Miller, who alleges Tunsil attacked him, defamed his character, and caused intentional emotional distress. Miller and Tunsil originally filed criminal charges against one another last year following a domestic dispute, but both parties later dropped the criminal charges.

Freeze’s involvement in the lawsuit stems from the charges of defamation of character. Miller alleges Freeze’s public comments commending Tunsil for protecting his mother and family from Miller portrayed him in a negative light and helped to defame him. From the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger:

The motion filed Tuesday said the portion of Freeze’s comments related to the defense of Tunsil’s mother, Desiree Polingo, could revolve around “verbal assault,” not necessarily alleging physical assault. Miller’s lawsuit said he had been in an argument with Tunsil’s mother.

The motion added the portion of Freeze’s comments regarding standing up for his mother was merely an opinion “and does not pertain to the Plaintiff.”

Ole Miss is already facing 28 separate accusations of misconduct by the NCAA, 13 of which involve the football program, so it is understandable Freeze wants to limit his liability. A deposition could reveal further NCAA violations, something Freeze and the school would certainly like to avoid.

About Ben Sieck

Ben is a recent graduate of Butler University where he served as Managing Editor and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Butler Collegian. He currently resides in Indianapolis.