Alabama is hiring Liberty linebackers coach Robert Bala as its new inside linebackers coach, program sources confirmed to The Athletic on Saturday…
Bala, who came to Liberty after being the defensive coordinator at Southern Utah, had blown Hugh Freeze away in the interview process with his knowledge and demeanor. Bala obviously did something similar when he met with Saban earlier this week.
So, this guy blew Freeze away so strongly… that Freeze didn’t bring him to Auburn, but Saban’s grabbing him now? I know he’s the GOAT and all, but that seems like I’m missing something.
The least surprising thing about Hugh Freeze’s new Auburn contract? This, easily.
While the full contract has yet to be made public by Auburn, Freeze’s deal also includes a considerable buyout should he be terminated without cause prior to the end of the contract. In the event that happens, Freeze would be owed 75 percent of the remaining money on his contract, the official confirmed.
It’s Auburn. That’s how Auburn rolls. Hell, for all I know, Sexton offered a 50 percent buyout and Auburn insisted on the higher percentage.
Multiple sources say Freeze has agreed to relinquish control of his social media accounts when he becomes the Auburn coach. The background check on Freeze was extensive, and the school hired a P.R. consultant to handle the expected blowback in bringing him aboard. They are jumping through a lot of hoops for Freeze.
As one source with Auburn ties said Sunday, “If he’s contractually obligated to stay off social media and they had to hire an ‘Oh S—’ firm before he even started, is hiring him really a good idea?”
Auburn knows whom they’re getting into bed with. (And, yes, that analogy seems entirely appropriate here.) Freeze’s coaching resume ain’t bad, but it’s not on the level, say, of an Urban Meyer, who, while also a man with serious character flaws, at least has a few championship rings to flash.
Can’t wait to see the job that P.R. consultant does.
They’re buying him because he notched two wins over Nick Saban. (One less than Malzahn, by the way.) His recruiting advantage then — paying players when that was against the rules — has vanished in the NIL era. His overall record in the SEC in his five years with Ole Miss was 19-18, with winning records in 2014 (5-3) and in 2015 (6-2) and 8-11 overall in conference action in the others.
It’s quite the consolation prize for not getting Junior, that’s for sure. Not that I’m complaining.
What’s the over/under on the number of times Auburn folks will reassure themselves that it’s worth it?
The most Auburn thing Auburn could do isn’t to hire Junior as its next head football coach.
Sources: Auburn has been in discussion with Hugh Freeze for weeks about him becoming Auburn's next coach. They won't make a formal offer until after the Iron Bowl, but they've informally discussed contract and numbers with him for more than week.
Aside from the stalking-like response itself, referring to the guy who oversaw the crap that went down at Baylor without doing anything to address it as “the most Jesus like leader I have” is… well, yeah, creepy.
“I have no affiliation with the Ole Miss football Twitter site, even though it may sound strange, and I first learned about the tweets after my press conference when Keith Carter told me about them,” Kiffin told ESPN. “I’m completely embarrassed that anyone would put something out there like that making it look like it was a part of Ole Miss football. It was extremely disrespectful, bush league and classless, and I apologize, even though I had nothing to do with it, to Liberty and Hugh Freeze.”
Although I can’t help but wonder if deep down in places the Laner doesn’t talk about at parties, he gave a silent thumbs up.
By the way, it wasn’t that it was just making it look like it was a part of Ole Miss football, dude. It came from Ole Miss football’s Twitter account.
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