Hugh Freeze resigned as Ole Miss head football coach Thursday night, this after school officials found a number of calls on Freeze’s phone associated with an escort service.
“For a minute, Hugh Freeze told his bosses that it was a misdial, and they apparently didn’t accept it,” CBSSports.com college football columnist Dennis Dodd said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “At the press conference, they said this was a pattern of misconduct. If he hadn’t resigned, he would have been fired for moral turpitude, with cause, with no buy-out. They went out and looked at his phone records and found a lot of this.”
Indeed, Ole Miss chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said that Freeze resigned due to “a pattern of personal conduct inconsistent with the standard of expectations for the leader of our football team.”
“They steered away from, ‘Yeah, we found a whole bunch of other things like this,’ but I think you can kind of fill in the blank,” Dodd said. “The sad thing about this is you know how this was found? Hugh Freeze’s lawyer plugged it into Google. That’s when his antenna went up. My question is if you’re doing NCAA investigations, doesn’t this happen months ago where, doing due diligence, you have somebody take those phone records or start plugging them in one at a time? Just to make sure? I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.”
Freeze, 47, went 39-25 in six seasons with the Rebels. He had roughly $2 million left on his contract this year and was slated to make $5 million in 2018 and $5.15 million in 2019.
He will receive none of that.
It remains to be seen whether Vitter and athletic director Ross Bjork will survive the latest scandal to rock Ole Miss.
“They’re putting themselves out there,” Dodd said. “Hugh Freeze, whatever is going to happen to him, is going to happen. But if this goes south, like it did today, then it’s their careers, their reputations. I guess we’ll see. Think about this: They are in charge of overseeing an investigation that is defending Hugh Freeze to the hilt of eight allegations of wrongdoing to the NCAA on the same day they just basically fired him. How’s that going to work? This may be the most embarrassing moment in Ole Miss history, which is about 150 years old.”