Hugh Freeze open to Ole Miss losing ‘Rebels’ nickname

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With the Confederate flag issue having seemingly been settled in South Carolina, the debate has now moved Mississippi, where the “stars and bars” are still featured prominently on that state’s flag.

It was only a matter of time until Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, himself a native Mississippian, was asked to weigh in on this sensitive issue.

Freeze did just that at SEC Media Days on Thursday.

According to George Schroeder of USA Today Sports, Freeze, despite understanding heritage, believes “it’s time we went a different direction” with the Mississippi state flag.

Freeze was also asked if Ole Miss would consider changing their nickname from “Rebels,” and responded, “If that’s something that is troublesome to others, I’m sure we would address that.”

But the Ole Miss head coach went on to say, “I haven’t heard that.”

The state flag debate and the nickname question are probably not issues that will be settled in the very near future, but the fact that Freeze, as someone who was born and raised in Mississippi and whose word carries a great deal of weight in the Magnolia State, is even willing to address these issues is a big step.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports