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Now, there's been a lot of talk about my good friend Houston Nutt. I know people talk about coaches. It's part of college football. I understand that, and appreciate it as one of the good things that sometimes brings the bad. 

The good is when people recognize the hard work you and your players do. The bad is when people say things that aren't true. This is, I'm afraid, gonna be about the bad. 

It has to be said: Houston Nutt is not a dirty coach. Now, Houston's a little on the opportunistic side. He'll take a player with some issues. He'll do what it takes to get players he wants. He might use the company cellphone in a manner you don't like. Sometimes you might even have to firm up a rule or two to keep him from bending it to its breaking point. I didn't say he was a saint, but none of us are.

Dirty, however, is a very serious word. Has Houston Nutt ever dropped a sack of Beau Rivage poker chips under a bridge in the dead of night to guarantee the services of a three star defensive back? Has he raided the primate research lab himself to steal the tranquilizers needed to keep a bipolar defensive lineman from snapping and raping his roommate with a floorlamp in the middle of the night? 

I want to know if the writer really considered this. I want to know if the writer wondered that if, once the lineman had actually done this despite the agricultural-grade tranquilizers in his system, would an opportunistic coach drive the victim to Mexico, leave them in the wastelands south of the Rio Bravo, and let the vultures, exposure, and coyotes settle the issue for everyone concerned? And would he smile thinking about this while standing on the fifty yard line of the Cotton Bowl?

Would a merely opportunistic coach do these things? I don't think so. A dirty coach would do these things, and I'm afraid that's just something Houston Nutt ain't, friends. He'd never motivate Wayne Madkin by kidnapping his family for motivation and keeping them in the woods of east Tennessee for three months. He would never lace Dan Marino's saline spray with cocaine just to lower his draft value, and then take a kickback from an NFL team for getting them a deal. 

I'm pretty sure Houston Nutt wouldn't ever strangle a beloved live collie just to ensure his players had loyalty to him and only him, and not even the mascot of the school you were coaching. He certainly wouldn't eat it whole afterwards just to drive the point home. 

Houston Nutt had his issues at Arkansas, true. We all have those. But a dirty coach has a reputation, and earns it, and that's something you just can't say about my friend here. He would not punch a reporter in the balls in front of his peers. Further to that point, he would not do this to one with a pacemaker while an assistant coach held a running microwave next to him. Finally, he would not pull a hot microwave enchilada out of that microwave while watching the reporter turn a clammy grey below him, and savor every bite of its cheese-flavored goodness as the poor man clutched his chest on the ground below him. 

He most definitely would not then flash the Diamond Cutter, and then execute that famous wrestling move on the man clearly in medical distress. 

Houston Nutt would not do any of these things. 

Houston Nutt is a family man, a good man, and certainly not what the reporter purports him to be. He's not a dirty coach, and that's simply an unfair thing to call anyone. 


Jackie Sherrill. 

P.S. Be careful turning on your car the next couple of days.