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Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy arrested and charged with assault

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Well here's an unexpected storyline just ten hours before tip-off.

Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy was arrested early this morning and charged with assaulting a cab driver.

The news was first reported by WKRC-TV in Cincinnati.

According to the television station, Kennedy punched 25-year-old cab driver Jiddou Mohammed Ould in the face with a closed fist while shouting racial slurs at 1 a.m. in downtown Cincinnati.

Kennedy, whose Rebels team is in Cincinnati set to play No. 9 Louisville tonight in the SEC/Big East Invitational, has been charged with misdemeanor assault and is expected to appear in court this afternoon.

Even more from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Also arrested was William Armstrong, the director of operations at Mississippi, on a charge of disorderly conduct, reports show.

The men are in town for the SEC/Big East invitational at U.S. Bank Arena. Mississippi plays No. 8 Louisville tonight.

Reports state Armstrong, 31, was drunk and thrown out of the Lodge Bar downtown early this morning.

After that, he and Kennedy got a cab. A report says Armstrong, taunted the driver “in which his conduct was likely to cause a violent response.”

A separate report says Kennedy “was the aggressor” and punched the driver, Mohammed Ould Jiddou. During the attack Kennedy used “racial slurs.”

Kennedy has hired former Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen to represent him.

Allen entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client this morning. He said Kennedy "emphatically denies this and emphatically denies making any racial slurs."

Police say a person standing nearby witnessed the assault and that Armstrong was so intoxicated he refused to calm down when asked and requested that he be taken to jail.

Kennedy is reportedly meeting with Ole Miss AD Pete Boone right now, and the pair are expected to release some sort of statement shortly. If Kennedy is suspended, then assistant Michael White will step in as the head coach tonight.

So, yeah, go Cards.