The Hugh Freeze era came to a sudden and abrupt end in July. After the Ole Miss football coach placed a call to an escort service from his university issued phone, further investigation revealed at least 12 other calls of the same type. He has remained mostly silent to the public, but issued an apology to “the Ole Miss family an apology for the pain and disappointment I’ve caused them,” according to the OleMiss site RebelGrove.com.
Freeze defended himself against an NCAA infractions committee earlier this month, though he stopped short of denying the allegations against him altogether.
“While some of the things being reported about the matter are inaccurate, or in some cases completely false, it’s much more important for me to tell you that what I did was wrong”, Freeze said in his statement.
The findings prompted an investigation, and eventually 21 NCAA rule violations, most of which took place under Freeze’s watch.
Most of the violations have been accepted by Ole Miss, who has self-imposed a number of sanctions including bowl bans and a reduced number of scholarships. However it continues to fight others, namely “lack of institutional control”, a catchall violations that suggests widespread maleficence beyond what is considered normal.
Here is Freeze’s full statement:
While I realize a statement from me could be met with criticism and more negative attention, I believe I owe the Ole Miss family an apology for the pain and disappointment I’ve caused them. With this being an open week for the football team, and with the NCAA hearing behind us, this seemed to be the right time for me to speak from my heart.
As you know, in July of this year Ross Bjork asked me about a concerning number discovered in my phone records. In the days that followed, I shared with him the truth about my past, ultimately resulting in my resignation. It’s a truth I’d already shared with my wife, Jill, and with two of my closest friends months earlier.
While some of the things being reported about the matter are inaccurate, or in some cases completely false, it’s much more important for me to tell you that what I did was wrong, and there’s no justification for me making the selfish decisions that I knowingly made. I know I’ve hurt many people, especially those in the Ole Miss family, and I am asking you to forgive me for what I’ve done. I miss being a part of Ole Miss but will be pulling for our team every Saturday this season. To my faith family, I ask for your forgiveness and appreciate your prayers as well.
I have experienced unbelievable grace from above, from friends, and especially from Jill. Her strength and love through this storm have been incredible. Neither she nor our girls ever asked to live their lives in the public eye, but they have handled this with grace and dignity.
Words cannot express our gratitude for the outpouring of prayers, love, and forgiveness we have received from many of you. We have some incredible memories to hold onto from our time at Ole Miss, and want to thank you for blessing us over the last 5 years. While I realize there’s no good answer for the pain I’ve caused, I hope you can forgive me.
Freeze helped lead Ole Miss to several successful seasons as head coach, and left the program with a 39-25 record overall. It will be a while before he is back in the FBS, but it’s likely a matter of when, not if.
Consider how many times Art Briles has been nearly hired.
Freeze will catch on somewhere after backlash against him has died down.
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