OXFORD — The inconsistent performance of Ole Miss defensive end Greg Hardy this season has been hard to figure for fans, sportswriters and even Hardy’s own coaches.

But Houston Nutt knows one thing: Don’t blame it on the shoes.

During Saturday’s CBS broadcast of the Ole Miss-Alabama game, a sideline reporter mentioned that Hardy was having trouble with his right foot because his normal shoes weren’t packed for the trip.

Hardy suffered a stress fracture in that right foot during preseason camp and missed the first month of the season. His foot is often heavily taped during practices and games.

But Nutt said the CBS report was not true and Hardy’s injured foot had nothing to do with defective or missing equipment.

“(He) had the right shoes – the shoes were packed,” Nutt said. “… He just – whatever – stubbed his toe. Wasn’t full speed. But the equipment was there; we’ve got the best equipment people in America.”

Nutt said that Hardy has been wearing a protective boot on the right foot the past few days and it wasn’t known whether the junior would play this Saturday against Arkansas.

Nutt hoped to know more by today.