Mustain’s mother breaks silence after former UA coach Nutt addresses NWA Touchdown Club

Beck Campbell has kept her opinions of the 2006 Arkansas football season and the treatment of her son, Mitch Mustain, to herself until yesterday. However, after former Arkansas coach Houston Nutt addressed the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club and proclaimed that he and former Hogs offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn got along, Campbell had heard enough.

Campbell fumed on social media Wednesday night.

“For the record … in spite of what Nutt said at the [NWA Touchdown Club] and what Gus said in his radio interview … they DID NOT get along. EVERYTHING bad that happened the year they worked together was a direct result of the pissing match between the two … to say otherwise is an out-right lie. Just had to get it out there …”

Campbell’s blood began boiling last month after Nutt interviewed Malzahn for SiriusXM. Malzahn was cordial despite numerous accounts the two didn’t get along during the 2006 season and that Malzahn’s hiring from Springdale High School was not Nutt’s idea.

“I really appreciate coach Nutt giving me an opportunity to get into college football,” Malzahn said. “I wouldn’t be here where I’m at right now if it hadn’t been for coach taking a chance on a high school guy.”

The interview coupled with the comments made by Nutt at the NWA Touchdown Club on Wednesday led to Campbell’s first interview in the seven years that have passed since Mustain transferred to Southern California after being benched and enduring alleged harassment from players and Nutt family friend Teresa Prewett, who sent Mustain an angry email.

“Some people have told me to let it go, and I have let it go, but I am tired of history being rewritten,” Campbell said by phone Thursday morning. “We aren’t the ones lying about what happened. One person needs to stand up and tell what really happened. A person at the university should have taken responsibility for what happened.”

Mustain has told his side of the story to different media outlets in Arkansas and also opened up for a documentary, The Identity Theft of Mitch Mustain.

The Parade All-American quarterback was candid about the power struggle between Nutt and Malzahn, how Malzahn promised the five prized Springdale High recruits that followed him to Fayetteville that the Hogs would employ the hurry-up offense they made famous.

That never happened and according to Campbell, Mustain was a pawn. Mustain entered the year expecting to redshirt but instead was inserted into the lineup during a season-opening blowout loss to USC. The Hogs went undefeated with Mustain in the lineup, but Casey Dick relieved Mustain after one series at South Carolina and the former high school All-American didn’t start the rest of the season.

“Mitchell was caught in the middle of Gus and Houston. Even if he had been the biggest snot of a kid, and he wasn’t, he didn’t deserve to be treated like that. It all boiled down to the animosity Nutt harbored toward Gus because he was forced to put Gus on staff,” she says. “Mitchell got the brunt of it because he was in a position to be manipulated. They set him up to fail.”

NWA Media/ANDY SHUPE - Former Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt, center, laughs with Pat Foster, former assistant basketball coach at Arkansas, left, and Harold Horton, a former player and coach at Arkansas, during a meeting of the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club Wednesday at Mermaids restaurant in Fayetteville.

NWA Media/ANDY SHUPE – Former Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt, center, laughs with Pat Foster, former assistant basketball coach at Arkansas, left, and Harold Horton, a former player and coach at Arkansas, during a meeting of the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club Wednesday at Mermaids restaurant in Fayetteville.

Campbell said she expects Nutt to paint a rosy picture because, “He is a bad man, a bad person.”

She says the feelings of betrayal run deeper with Malzahn because he was a trusted family friend. Malzahn has had opportunities to divulge his side of the story but has stayed tight-lipped. “He told me he was going to take care of Mitchell and not let him get hurt. I trusted [Malzahn],” she says. “It would be like if I took someone’s kids to the beach, and they got sucked in a riptide, and I just walked away, didn’t call the paramedics or anything. Just left.”

Campbell said Malzahn tried to get Mustain to follow him to Tulsa where he became the offensive coordinator in 2007. Mustain has also mentioned that he and his former coach speak occasionally, and that Malzahn offered him a spot as a graduate assistant on his Auburn staff.

Campbell also revealed the family planned to sue Nutt, former Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles and chancellor John White and Prewett. But Mustain, who was still at USC at the time, stopped the proceedings so he could concentrate on his career, which amounted to limited playing time with the Trojans.

It was shortly after that Campbell tried to forgive the parties involved. She and Mustain vowed not to discuss the matter together. “It makes us both mad and we are so alike we butt heads,” she says.

Still, she hasn’t forgotten “the old wounds” thanks to comments that Nutt has made on the subject over the years.

“My son lives every day with the ramifications of what happened that season because of [Nutt and Malzahn],” Campbell says. “Do you think this is where he would really wants to be. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wonder if he could be doing what he loves, his passion.

“We would love to walk away and let it go, but at some point someone who is in a position of authority needs to tell the truth so we don’t keep running into a Mack truck every couple of years.”


12 comments on “Mustain’s mother breaks silence after former UA coach Nutt addresses NWA Touchdown Club
  1. Steve says:

    I’m sure there is a lot of validity to what she is saying. But to blame that for his career bottoming out? Many quarterbacks have faced different types of “unfair” adversity at one school, then transferred to a place where they fit in and knew they would have an opportunity. (re: Ryan Mallett, Russell Wilson, even Troy Aikman). Why did Mustain choose USC, who had 5-star QB recruits lined up? It’s sad that he got trapped in that situation, but I think his ego led to a bad next move in choosing the Trojans, thus putting the brakes on a potential superstar career. Who knows, if he had gone to a place like Tulsa he may now be playing on Sundays.

    • Lukas says:

      He transferred to USC because he wanted to follow Damian Williams. The two had a kind of chemistry all throughout high school that couldn’t be matched. Had they both stayed at UA and Nutt wouldn’t have ran Malzahn and the Springdale 5 off, you would have seen that come to light. I witnessed it first hand because I went to both Springdale and Rogers High. I was a year behind Mitch and Damian but I grew up with those guys, and once they got into high school and got to work together, there was absolutely no better QB/WR tandem in the state of Arkansas. That’s what we missed out on because of Houston Nutt’s selfishness and bad attitude towards someone coming in to help his players become the most successful people they could be.

  2. bob says:

    every kids mama thinks that he should have been treated differently by the coaches. A mama crying because her son “didn’t get the chance he deserved” isn’t newsworthy. Mustain was overrated. That’s all there is to it.

  3. John says:

    This woman is ridiculous. Her kid couldn’t cut it and she’s looking for someone to blame. It is the pussification of society. Maybe she should blame whoever convinced him to transfer to USC, a team that was extremely deep at QB. Mitchell wasn’t that good of a QB….bottom line.

  4. QuickToJudge says:

    It sucks that he was in that situation, but who hasn’t been in a bad situation before? It’s how you respond to that 2nd chance, and when he transferred to USC, he couldn’t even beat out a true freshman. I know his mom was expecting a big paycheck, but her son didn’t do her any favors at USC either. Had he been smart enough to follow Malzahn to Tusla, there is a very good chance he would be playing on Sunday. Malzahn broke numerous NCAA offensive records at Tulsa. I bet that made his mom even more mad hearing that Tulsa’s QB has a better shot to make it to the NFL than her son. People blame others to much these days…why not take the punch, get back up, and keep fighting for what you want? Instead of blaming others for your failures.

  5. Lisa says:

    I absolutely agree with Steve. I think Mitch showed poor judgement chosing a team loaded with talented QB’s.Should have gone with Gus, his track record with QB’s says it all.

  6. Luke says:

    He went undefeated. I wouldn’t call that overrated

  7. Suzie says:

    Houston Nutt never was and will never be a good coach or a good person. Then he moves on to Ole Miss. It didn’t take long for him to screw up that program. Where is he now? At least Petrino was a good coach and is still coaching. Goodbye Nutt…don’t let the door hit ya on the way OUT.

  8. Paul Crewe says:

    A good Christian Auburn man like Gus Malzahn would never do that to a player. Sour grapes, IYAM.


  9. Jon jonson says:

    No DMac and co. went undefeated. I could have qb’d that team and went undefeated.

  10. Chris says:

    Just another example of how much of a business college football is. Coaches and Universities will sell anything they can to players to get them the sign. You can’t blame the fact that the kid didn’t make it on the coaches or the university of ark, but his decision to sign being based on mis- information of the style of offense probably did set him behind the curve. Yes the kids of Springdale were pawns in the recruiting game, No doubt about it! That being said….

    Momma Mustain needs to watch Frozen and listen to the words of the song “Let it Go!”

  11. Bill Altstatt says:

    Nutt not a good coach or a good person? Are u just plumb dumb or what? How many SEC title games have you been to since Nutt left? Not one dumb bell! I played under coach Nutt many years before he was ever a head coach. He is one of the highest character guys I have ever been around! U all got pissed off that he didn’t run a run and shoot offense. Football is about toughness! Don’t turn the ball over, field position,,,,, toughness! Patrino has never won a damn thing at a high level school or pro job! Recruiting? Under Nutt Arkansas had 7 first round nfl draft picks! Let me know when u do that again dumb dumb!