Escort Service Scandal Ends Hugh Freeze’s Coaching Job at Ole Miss

By Jeremy Nabors (Own work) [ via Wikimedia Commons
Ole Miss announced Thursday night that coach Hugh Freeze has resigned, effective immediately, following a “pattern of personal misconduct.” Matt Luke will serve as the Rebels’ interim coach.

After Yahoo! Sports published an article about Hugh Freeze’s attempts to contact an escort service, the coach, and Ole Miss parted ways. The phone records came to light by way of the attorney for Houston Nutt, Freeze’s predecessor at Ole Miss who is currently suing the university for defamation.

USA Today sports reporter Dan Wolken wrote the call, which was made on the evening of Jan. 19, 2016, to a Detroit (313) area code, lasts just one minute, according to e-mails exchanged between the two parties. But the phone number is associated with several Web sites advertising a female escort based in Tampa, Fla., USA TODAY Sports has independently confirmed. The phone number has been disconnected.

Athletic Director Ross Bjork said during a press conference Thursday night that further investigation into Freeze’s phone records showed “conduct was just not something we thought we could continue with him as our head coach.”

He also stated that Freeze, whom he met on Wednesday night and again Thursday afternoon, admitted to the conduct and agreed to resign. Had he not, the school would have “exercised the termination clause in our contract for moral turpitude,” according to Bjork.

“He has taken responsibility and is accountable to his actions, Bjoork said during the press conference

The Rebels will start a search for a head football coach immediately but have promoted co-offensive coordinator  Matt Luke to interim coach for the 2017 season.

It will undoubtedly be hard for the university to bring in a new head coach from outside the football program because of the on going NCAA investigation.  So far it has been reported that the NCAA has found 21 infatuations in the football program.

In my opinion,  Bjork did what was best for the gridiron program and university. Under the direction of Freeze, the football program is not and would not ever be a playoff contender.  Since the business side of college football all about wins and losses for head coaches Freeze’s record was not all that impressive. Especially in the Southeastern Conference(SEC) which is considered by many the best football conference in the country.

With all the problems associated with Ole Miss football, the school should have shown the whole coaching staff under Freeze the door and worked to put a whole new staff in place for this program. Even if it meant no football in the SEC for 2017.This would give the university an opportunity to clean up the program on their own before the NCAA enforced a ban that might shut down the program from the competition.

But the school would probably not shut down the program to clean up the issues. The reason is that college football is a big money sport and can generate a lot of money for the Oxford school. If the program was shut down say for 2017 the school would miss out on program endorsements, revenue, and tickets sales. All those things and more bring in money to the school and program.

This cell phone issue came at a very bad time for all involved or connected to both the school, football program and Freeze. It has to be totally embarrassing to all.

The players and program are hurt the most by the stupid actions of Freeze. He (Freeze) can just walk away from the school and program now and find a coaching position at a smaller college to provide for his family. That is if any college will have him after the issue at Ole Miss.

In Oxford people are awaiting closure more eagerly than ever with Freeze gone. Until the school meets with the Committee on Infractions this fall, when the NCAA will determine a final punishment, that won’t really happen. Recruiting efforts likely will continue to suffer (3-star CB Jaylin Williams de-committed following the resignation news), and fans may find it hard to not consider  2017 as a losing season.

After watching the whole press conference on YouTube it leave the feeling that the public does not know the whole story on the escort service call. It may be that more facts about the call will come out over time or later in the year. Or it could be that the public will never know all the facts related to this story. Just have a feeling that the whole story has not been made public.

All Ole Miss can do in the meantime is focused on the game. And for the Pattersons, the Sept. 2 opener vs. South Alabama can’t come soon enough.

Share your opinion on this whole escort calling issue or share your thoughts on what Ole Miss should have done in this situation below in the comment section of this post. Let’s get the conversation started.

 

 

 

 

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James Carter

James Carter has a real passion for online "stuff", is an avid WordPress fan and user, and gets great satisfaction out of helping others. -- so in his spare time, he's busy doing community service with his church, spending time with family and friends while creating post for this blog.

4 Comments:

  1. Reminds of a similar scandal in Louisville.

    • Yes, I think I remember that story. Escort queen” Katina Powell in her book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” was “outrageous,” “immoral” and “distasteful.”
      But in the end, the commonwealth’s attorney said his prosecutors and the county grand jury decided she could not be prosecuted based on the revelations in the book alone.

      Though she wrote that she had provided prostitutes – including her own daughters – to University of Louisville players and recruits – and that Andre McGee, director of basketball operations, paid for it – a defendant can’t be convicted based her confession alone, Wine said.

      “After reviewing all of the interviews and evidence, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office concluded that there simply was not the legally required independent corroboration of the allegations made in Powell’s book to justify recommending that Powell or McGee be indicted and to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” Wine said in statement that I read online.

      Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Foster said investigators couldn’t verify that Powell’s daughters – whom she wrote were 15 and 17 when she first started providing them to entertain players and recruits – were under the age of consent.

    • It definitely does. Pitino supposedly wasn’t directly involved. Also, just like Freeze, he supposedly knew nothing of any wrongdoing. I hate this big time for the players and their families.

      • Yes, This kind of behavior away from the football field, especially by a head coach, will definitely hurt the program at Ole Miss while having an impact on both players and their families.They just got to be strong and with time this very public issue will pass.

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