The details of what led to Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy's arrest early Thursday remain unclear and disputed. But a source who was with Kennedy told CBSSports.com "nobody hit the cab driver" and that he's certain Kennedy will be cleared of all charges.
Here's the Ole Miss side of the story:
According to the source, the coaching staff had a team meeting, finished film and then went out for dinner and drinks Wednesday night in Cincinnati, where Kennedy used to coach. The party was a mixture of Ole Miss coaches, officials and some of Kennedy's friends from Cincinnati, and when it was time to go, the five coaches -- Kennedy and assistants Michael White, Owen Miller, Torrey Ward and Bill Armstrong -- jumped in a cab to take them back to the Marriott across the river in Kentucky.
Kennedy was in the front seat.
The four assistants were in the back.
According to the source, after driving "maybe a tenth of a mile" the cab driver realized there were five people in the car, and he told the coaches that he could not take five passengers. So he stopped, at which point Kennedy and his assistants jumped in another cab, one with a driver willing to take five passengers. At that point, the source said, the first cab driver pulled up beside the second cab driver and started yelling at the second driver "in a foreign language," and then the second cab driver turned to the coaches and asked if they owed the first cab driver money.
The coaches said they did not owe anybody anything because the first driver refused to transport them. Then, according to the source, assistant Torrey Ward, who is black, told the driver to stop talking to the other driver and to get them back to their hotel.
"And then the cab driver turned around and said "Shut the f-ck up, n-gger," the source said. "That's when things got heated."
According to the source, the coaches and cab driver did exchange words, "but nobody hit the driver." The source added that Kennedy and his assistants tried to get out of the cab, but that the driver locked the doors and got on his cell phone, "and we think that's when he called the cops." Eventually, the source said, the driver unlocked the doors and let the coaches out. They then got in a third cab and traveled about a half-mile before the cops pulled the cab over and approached the car.
"The cops said, 'Coach Kennedy, we need you to get out of the car," the source said. "They told him he was under arrest for assault."
According to the source, Armstrong came to the defense of Kennedy, started telling the police "this is bullsh-t" and that Kennedy didn't do anything wrong. That's when Armstrong was arrested, and then White, Miller and Ward waited at the police station for Kennedy and Armstrong to be released.
Also worth noting: There have been reports that Armstrong was kicked out of the Lodge Bar, which preceded the coaches getting in the first cab, but according to the source, that is "100 percent not true." Alex Moller, the general manager of the Lodge Bar, supports that claim. He told the Clarion Ledger newspaper in Mississippi: "The reports that they were kicked out are untrue. They were here, but they left on good terms. As for what happened after they left the bar, I don't know. But there was no incident here."