Nutt Talks With McAfee

The Morning News/Razorback Central
Posted May 3, 2007


FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt got a chance Thursday to sit down with an Arkansas fan who created a stir several months ago by obtaining the coach's cell phone records through the Freedom of Information Act.

Nutt, accompanied by his wife Diana and attorney Byron Freeland, met with Thomas McAfee for about an hour Thursday in Little Rock at the office of McAfee's lawyer.

"It was heated at times, that's fair to say," said Nate Coulter, McAfee's attorney. "Basically, the heat was coming, I think, from the other side of the table (Nutt's side) -- not my side. But it was heated."

Nutt had been requesting a meeting with McAfee since the 28-year-old Searcy native obtained the coach's cell phone records earlier this year. McAfee also sent a letter to Arkansas' Board of Trustees, expressing his concern with what he found after going through Nutt's phone records.

Those records were used to put together a 48-page document that suggests Nutt might have had prior knowledge of a disparaging e-mail that Teresa Prewett, a family friend, sent former Arkansas quarterback Mitch Mustain in December.

The document, which has been circulating on Internet message boards with McAfee's name on it, also raises the question of whether Nutt is having an affair with a local TV anchor. McAfee has denied writing the now-infamous document.

Nutt has repeatedly denied the accusations, and he got another chance during the meeting with McAfee to express his opinions.

"I think obviously everybody got a chance to say their peace and express themselves," Coulter said. "Obviously, my client and Byron Freeland's client don't see eye to eye on too many things."

Nutt and Freeland declined to comment as they left Coulter's office. When reached earlier in the day by The Morning News, Freeland refused to offer any more information about the meeting other than it was scheduled for Thursday.

"That's not for public consumption," Freeland said. Coulter said McAfee wasn't ready to comment Thursday. Nutt's side did most of the talking during the meeting, according to Coulter. But at one point, McAfee and his attorney asked if they could get the information off Nutt's cell phone to find out the content of his text messages to Prewett.

Coulter said he's not sure whether Thursday's meeting will be the end of the matter, or whether Nutt will seek legal action against McAfee for allegedly making false accusations.

"I understand there is a basis for them to be angry and have their feelings hurt and to be bothered with what was sent to the Board of Trustees," Coulter said. "But I don't believe there is a basis in Arkansas to sue Thomas McAfee." Through Arkansas' sports information department, Nutt released an open letter to fans April 17, refuting the allegations.

"It is unfortunate that my cell phone records have been combined with unsubstantiated rumors, speculation, and destructive gossip in an effort to create an appearance that the outrageous allegations are somehow based in fact," Nutt wrote in the letter.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.



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