Dan Mullen left Mississippi State in November to become Florida's head coach, but a clothing company in Mississippi has involved him in a legal matter.
Mullen and former Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin are among the names added to a lawsuit by Oxford-based clothing store Rebels Rags, Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday.
The NCAA alleged that Rebels Rags provided free clothing to Mississippi State players Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones when the coaching staff of the rival Mississippi Rebels was recruiting them.
While denying the allegation, the store owner's lawyers sued Jones, Lewis and Lindsey Miller, who is the estranged stepfather of former Rebels offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, for defamation, civil conspiracy and commercial disparagement in June.
Now, a new complaint to be added to that suit alleges that Mullen and Stricklin, while at Mississippi State, provided false information and assisted in libel, slander and defamation against the store as a co-conspirator with the other defendants.
"We've got pretty good proof that both Mullen and Stricklin were involved in (directing) both Jones' and Lewis' accounts," Charlie Merkel, the attorney for Rebel Rags, told Sports Illustrated. "It's in the transcripts."
Charles Winfield, the attorney for Stricklin, denied the allegations.
"We have learned that Mr. Stricklin and several others have been named as parties to a lawsuit filed by an Oxford, Mississippi business that appears to have been identified in the NCAA's findings of major rules violations by the University of Mississippi football program," Winfield said in a statement. "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."
Last week, Ole Miss filed an appeal of the decision by the NCAA committee on infractions to ban the Rebels' football program from postseason play in 2018. The penalty also limited unofficial recruiting visits and cited the school for lack of institutional control.