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Rebel Rags sues Leo Lewis, Kobe Jones and Lindsey Miller for defamation

Rebel Rags sues Leo Lewis, Kobe Jones and Lindsey Miller for defamation

Rebel Rags, a retail clothing store in Oxford that specializes in Ole Miss gear, has filed a lawsuit against Mississippi State football players Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones, as well as against Lindsey Miller (the stepfather of former Ole Miss player Laremy Tunsil), in Lafayette County Circuit Court.

Mr. Charlie Merkel, an attorney with Merkel and Cocke, P.A., in Clarksdale, is one of the lawyers representing Rebel Rags, and he has confirmed the filing of the lawsuit. (See lawsuit below.)

According to Mr. Merkel, Rebel Rags is suing Lewis, Jones and Miller for “defamation, slander, conspiracy and commercial disparagement stemming from false statements made to the NCAA…”

Background

In its Notice of Allegations (NOA), the NCAA charges (in allegation No. 9) that former Ole Miss off-field staff member Barney Farrar and former Ole Miss defensive line coach Chris Kiffin allegedly arranged for $2,800 worth of free merchandise from Rebel Rags to be given to Lewis, Jones and Miller, constituting an impermissible recruiting inducement.

The university, as well as Kiffin and Farrar, categorically deny Lewis’ allegations.

Ole Miss response

In its 124-page response last week to the Notice of Allegations, Ole Miss outlined major inconsistencies in Lewis’ testimony to the NCAA—testimony he gave in exchange for personal immunity.

In vigorously disputing Allegation No. 9, Ole Miss charges:

“(T)here is no proof that corroborates the claims of [Family Member 1], [Student-Athlete 39], or [Student-Athlete 40] that each of them received free merchandise from [Booster 8], much less at the direction of a football staff member.”

Additionally, in its response, Ole Miss notes that 15 former and current student-athletes and parents were asked about the allegation and all denied it.

“Not a single witness corroborates these claims – in fact, every other witness denies it, including those closest to the prospects and without University affiliation.”

(Note: Chuck Rounsaville first reported the news of the lawsuit Sunday evening.)

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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