“I think Hugh Freeze is a really good coach…”

Evidently Nick Saban is far from alone with that sentiment.

According to this Al.com story, at least five SEC schools had contact with Freeze about on-field jobs this offseason.  All five were supposedly shot down by Greg Sankey.  (I say “supposedly” because the SEC office wouldn’t comment on the story.)

Multiple SEC schools looked into hiring Freeze as their offensive coordinator, including LSU and Missouri, but no deal was ever reached because of the league’s opposition, according to sources. Freeze was publicly linked to the Missouri offensive coordinator position before Barry Odom hired former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley.

While it seems implausible a coach as influential and successful as Saban couldn’t get what he wanted, a nearly year-old SEC bylaw gives the league’s commissioner additional oversight into schools’ hiring practices. According to bylaw 19.8.1.2, a school must consult directly with Sankey before offering a job to a coach “who has engaged in unethical conduct as defined under NCAA Bylaws or who has participated in activity that resulted, or may result, in a Level I, Level II or major infraction.”

That’s relevant because Ole Miss received a two-year bowl ban, scholarship reductions through 2018-19 and had to vacate wins after the program was deemed to have “fostered an unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting,” according to the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

The committee, though, seemingly viewed it as more an institutional than Freeze issue at Ole Miss. While multiple Ole Miss assistants and staffers received multi-year show-cause penalties, Freeze was hit with only a two-game conference suspension should any school hire him as a head coach before Nov. 30.

All of which seemingly begs the question, if this was more of an institutional problem than a personal one, why is Hugh Freeze currently persona non grata with the SEC, while Ole Miss isn’t?

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7 Comments

Filed under Freeze!, SEC Football

7 responses to ““I think Hugh Freeze is a really good coach…”

  1. CPark58

    This is the SEC, recruiting violations, alleged or proven, have never stopped anyone from anything if they know how to win football games.

    Top shelf escorts in the Birmingham area are a different story all together. Freeze probably outbid Sankey for Chastity’s services for the entire week of last year’s SEC Media Days and Sankey swore vengeance. Be looking for Hugh Freeze in the ACC soon, they seem to have conceded their moral high ground in recent years(looking at you UNC and Louisville).

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  2. Russ2

    That’s a big difference in Missouri’s offensive mojo. They got Derek Dooley when they could have had Freeze. Wow . Glad Saban didn’t get the chance to rehabilitate Freeze though.

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    • Argondawg

      Amen. Freeze is a good offensive mind and he has no problem taking chances……..on the field and off. He is unpredictable. I am thankful Mizz ended up with Dooley. I hope Dooley hangs 50 on UT. Thant would make me smile. I have yet to understand why I enjoy watching UTk suffer so much. Even more so than UF

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      • Mayor

        Sorry, but offensively Dooley can’t even hang out laundry. Mizzou goes to the bottom of the SEC East and their HC gets fired, along with Dooley.

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  3. South FL Dawg

    If anybody can control somebody it’s got to be Saban. So to me this is because Sankey doesn’t like Freeze. Might run deeper than the stuff we know about and wouldn’t it be fascinating to find out…..

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  4. ASEF

    It all comes down to those calls Freeze made… to reporters in advance of the 2016 Signing Day.

    It was striking to see media opinion on Freeze shift when the NCAA NOI came out. Prior to that release, Freeze was the character who took down Saban twice, and if his players were getting freebies, then that was just Ole Miss shaking their fist at a hypocritical and oppressive NCAA.

    There was nothing in the NOI release that should have changed any of that. But the NOI absolutely failed to line up with the expectation Hugh helped set in those phone calls. And once the reporters saw how blatantly Hugh lied to them, many of them started singing a different tune. Hypocrite. Charlatan.

    And then the hooker calls put about a dozen nails into that narrative coffin.

    Freeze parlayed his personal brand into a toxic waste dump. He will have to go the same route Petrino did. And he will.

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  5. AusDawg85

    I’ve noticed the answer to most all of your questions about the NCAA or SEC is usually “money”. A school on probation can hurt league revenue. A coach…no so much.

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