Mike Gundy sniffs and Hugh Freeze doesn’t pass the smell test.
Gundy has been among the consumers of ominous updates emanating from Oxford, Mississippi. Last week, Ole Miss announced a self-imposed bowl ban for the 2017 season.
“The first thing I thought about was (OSU’s recent experience with the NCAA),” Gundy said, “and the second thing was the Sugar Bowl and my players and what they went through.”
As he was paid $4.7 million, Freeze’s 2016 Rebels were 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference. His fate, and his program’s, won’t be determined until the NCAA finalizes its case.
It is rare that a coach will speak publicly about controversy at another school, but Gundy is a veteran of his own NCAA encounter and emerged mostly unscathed. He must be exceedingly confident that his own program is law-abiding because the OSU coach expresses resentment that Ole Miss’ Sugar Bowl roster might have been assembled at least in part through illegal tactics.
“We’ll never know what we could have done in the Sugar Bowl if it was a level playing field,” Gundy said. “That is the truth. I’m not sure we would have won the Sugar Bowl, but we’ll never know.”
Apparently, Gundy added, “we didn’t all play by the same rules. If everybody is playing by the rules and you get your butt kicked, that’s OK. I can live with that. But when it’s an uneven playing field, that’s not fair.”
I suspect we’ll soon hear how Hugh’s feelings are hurt by this.