Former Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze reportedly called escort services while on recruiting trips.
The Wall Street Journal broke the story in an unreal exposé, which fans of the Rebels and NCAA officials certainly won’t like.
The report reads, in part:
Although school officials had previously declined to characterize the alleged misconduct, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in response to questions from the Journal about Freeze’s travel that the university’s investigation uncovered “calls of a similar nature” over the course of several years, often matching up with travel logs showing the coach’s use of the school plane. The school said it examined his travel logs from peak recruiting times—often November, December and January—when Freeze would travel out of state, using the school plane and other public resources.
“When we say pattern, we are describing other phone numbers that when you Google them pull up similar type websites, services, however you would describe them,” Bjork said. “We took action swiftly.”
The is a really bad look for Ole Miss. I can’t stress enough how bad of a look this is for the Rebels when hookers are tied to recruiting trips. Does this mean that Freeze was lining up escorts for recruits? Of course it doesn’t guarantee that speculation, but as I’ve said before, I certainly know of crazier things that have happened.
The problems for Ole Miss look like they’re only going to get worse for awhile. The football team is going to take a serious hit, the school is going to take a hit, recruiting is going to take a hit, and the reputation of the entire program is going to take a hit.
College coaches can get away with a lot, as long as they win. Freeze had a serious problem because he wasn’t winning enough to justify the school turning a blind eye to his actions. There could also be sanctions coming down the pipeline if the NCAA finds out school resources and money were used to lure in escorts for players, staff members or recruits. Ole Miss from a sanctions standpoint looked like it had weathered a few recent storms, but getting caught hiring escorts can be a game changer.
As for Freeze, his days as a college coach at the division one level are likely over.