Category Archives: Freeze!

Ole Miss strenuously objects.

Well, now, who doesn’t like to watch a school go to war against the NCAA?  I’m not talking about Notre Dame, which strikes me as having valid grounds to criticize the organization’s double standard regarding academic misconduct.

Nah, I’m talking about the SEC’s Rebels without a cause who think they have one.  And they’re pretty belligerent about it.

Ole Miss submitted its written appeal to the NCAA last Monday. The university published the document on Wednesday, and in doing so kept up with its recent aggressive tone toward the Committee on Infractions and its ruling.

“This Committee should vacate and reverse the penalties and factual findings,” the appeal stated, “because the COI abused its discretion, departed from precedent, committed procedural errors, and reached factual conclusions inconsistent with the evidence.”

I’m sure this makes for great posturing with the home folks, but does the school really think anyone at the NCAA is going to be impressed with heated oratory like this?

The Committee on Infractions handed down its ruling to Ole Miss on Dec. 1. In its ruling, the committee essentially determined Ole Miss had an out-of-control booster culture, which spanned decades and cited cases from 1986 and 1994.

The use of cases which were more than two decades old as an aggravating factor bothered Jeff Vitter, Ole Miss’ chancellor, and Ross Bjork, the Rebels’ athletic director, when they addressed the media that day.

The written appeal hit on that point again.

“At what point does an institution get a clean slate in the infractions process? For this COI panel,” the appeal stated, “the answer appears to be ‘never.'”

Um… that’s how patterns over time get established, fellas.

Ole Miss wants an in-person appeal with the Infractions Appeals Committee, presumably because the one thing more persuasive than heated writing is in-your-face arguing.  I’m guessing the NCAA won’t be receptive, but who knows?

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Filed under Freeze!, The NCAA

But he meant well.

Based on this tale, I guess I’ve got a better understanding of what Hugh Freeze meant when he recently said “I have a total new appreciation for integrity…”.

Six Ole Miss players seeking immediate transfer waivers have assembled what are being portrayed as previously unknown smartphone and electronic interactions showing they were allegedly misled as to the extent of potential NCAA violations and punishments for the Rebels in statements made by former coach Hugh Freeze, CBS Sports has learned.

The documents will go into packages the players will submit seeking an appeal for immediate eligibility at their new schools. Without that waiver, they would have to adhere to NCAA rules that require transferring athletes to sit one year in academic residence.

In a series of texts that will be forwarded as part of these materials, there is evidence that shows players and their parents believed Freeze as he allegedly minimized the scope of the NCAA investigation concluded last year.

I am shocked, shocked to hear that there was misleading going on in Oxford.

Now, certainly these kids have motivation to put a particular spin on what they say happened (not to mention they’re all represented by the same attorney who represented Houston Nutt in the matter that eventually brought Freeze down), so maybe we should take them just saying that with a grain of salt.  I mean, if there were any specific examples, maybe it would be more credible… eh, what’s that, you say?

Two hours before to that text exchange, a screenshot shows — what the appeal will say is — Nixon questioning Freeze: “If this is mainly about basketball and the other sport and the football is already dealing with the penalties then way hasn’t Ole Miss or the AD come out and said [it’s] not the football team[?] I would think that would help.”

Patterson’s message to Nixon was sent based on specific information Freeze had given the quarterback that afternoon about the notice of allegations, Mars said.

“Here, you have a recruit who has lots of other options,” Mars said of Nixon. “He’s questioning, in a very intelligent way, why doesn’t the school say more, reveal more. Here’s a player who’s doing due diligence.

“Then he reaches out to Shea Patterson, who not having any reason at all to distrust [Freeze], … repeats verbatim what Hugh Freeze had told him in his office.”

If Freeze ever makes it back into the coaching ranks, he’d better have Jesus on his side, because the negative recruiting he’s in store for is gonna be brutal.

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Filed under Freeze!

“It’s a very complicated dynamic with Hugh Freeze.”

Is it, really?  I mean, it sounds pretty straightforward to me.

“Because there were other SEC programs this year who wanted to hire him. I know there was one who wanted to hire Hugh Freeze as offensive coordinator, and I’m not saying the SEC told them no or necessarily discouraged them, but I think there was a fairly clear message from the SEC office, or at least it was perceived that way to say, ‘Hey, maybe wait a year. These were the circumstances surrounding the NCAA stuff.’”

Wolken went on to mention the fact that an SEC bylaw states that coaches who have been involved in a major infractions case have to be consulted with the SEC commissioner.

That’s just one of two hurdles that stand in the way of Freeze coming to Tuscaloosa, according to a report from Aaron Suttles of TideSports.com, the other being that Saban is facing internal objections about the hire.

“Yes, Nick Saban operates on a different level, and he can maybe get away with things that other people can’t get away with from a PR standpoint, and we’ve seen that with some of his other reclamation projects,” Wolken added. “However, I do think the dynamics are very, very complicated throughout the whole thing.”

Coaches want to win.  Administrators want to look pure.  Sooner or later, we’ll find a school where the coach gets his way over the AD.

By the way, when push comes to shove, there’s nothing Greg Sankey can do to stop the hire.

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Filed under Freeze!

Praise the Lord, I saw the light.

I’m not going to get into the sincerity of the opening round of Hugh Freeze’s redemption tour, but, man, this quote:

“I have a total new appreciation for integrity,” Freeze said.

That’s some moral high horse you rode in on in Oxford, stud.

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Filed under Freeze!, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

Hugh Freeze? Never heard of him.

You may remember a story bubbling up before the SECCG that Kirby had reached out to Hugh Freeze for some offensive coaching insight.  I blogged about it here.  The story barely had time to hit the Internet before everyone associated with the football program vehemently denied its accuracy.  Also, note the last update to my post, in which Dan Wolken gets a denial from Freeze himself.

Fast forward to yesterday.  Here’s what Wolken had to say about it:

Freeze aided Georgia in its offensive game-planning before the SEC championship game, USA Today college football reporter Dan Wolken said.

“I was told by sources that Georgia sent (Freeze) a laptop to look at their film (before the SEC championship game),” Wolken said on the “Out of Bounds” radio show hosted by Bo Bounds in Jackson, Miss.

“Hugh consulted for Georgia (dating to) this past preseason,” Wolken said…

“Georgia, within about 10 minutes of the leak, put out a strongly worded statement that Hugh Freeze has had no affiliation with their program this season and, frankly, kind of lied about it,” Wolken said. “They wanted to shut that story down. The week of the SEC championship game, Georgia did not want to answer questions about Hugh Freeze.”

Well, if so, that worked.

Wolken, in my experience, doesn’t make up shit out of thin air, so I’m really curious about the laptop.  If it’s school property, is it a legitimate subject for an Open Records request?

Personally, it matters not to me what rocks Kirby turned over to game plan for Auburn.  I’d just love to hear McGarity try to explain it all away.  GATA, beat writers!

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Filed under Freeze!, Georgia Football

Redemption song

C’mon, tell me you can’t see this marriage happening.

Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was in Tuscaloosa today and was in the football building, The Tuscaloosa News has learned. Saban has always had a healthy respect for Freeze, who gave Alabama fits with his offense. Freeze was given a head coach restriction and two-game suspension but only if he were to become a head coach. He would face no restrictions as an assistant coach.

Barrett Sallee reports that Freeze is in an “I’ll take anything, Nick” mood.

A source tells CBS Sports that former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Monday. The Tuscaloosa News first reported Freeze’s presence on campus. Freeze and the Rebels topped Alabama twice (2014 and 2015) and put up 43 points on the typically-stout Tide defense in 2015 and 2016. Freeze’s interest in working with the Tide, according to a source, is not necessarily exclusive to the offensive coordinator position.

You can smell the support staff slot opening a mile away, although I suspect if it happens, the first thing Saban will do is put Freeze in touch with the staffer in charge of burner phones.

The sad thing about this, seriously, will be the inevitable whitewashing of Freeze’s resume after a couple of years in Tuscaloosa.  It’s the college football equivalent of laundering money.

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Filed under Freeze!, Nick Saban Rules

Another beginning of a bee-you-tee-full friendship

Purely from a blogging perspective, 2018 is already showing promise.

One such landing place would be at Arizona, which just canned Rich Rod over a sexual harassment claim.

You really can’t make this shit up.

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Filed under Freeze!, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat