Hugh Freeze: 'The timing was not something I was fond of'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday July 13, 2017


Hugh Freeze wouldn’t speak on specifics of a new lawsuit by Houston Nutt against Ole Miss, but he clearly suspected the timing, dropping the day before Freeze spoke at SEC Media Days.

Nutt alleges Freeze and school officials gave false information to reporters by saying the majority of alleged NCAA violations were under Nutt’s watch, and that it violates Nutt’s severance agreement. It was the first topic Freeze was asked about on Thursday.

“Disappointed in the timing of it, for sure,” Freeze said on SEC Network. “But as far as commenting on the lawsuit, I really know very little about it and can’t comment on something in the legal system. I have respect for every coach that I’ve ever known in this business. I just thought the timing was not something I was fond of. Our team at the university will handle it the right way.”

The suit comes as the school continues to deal with an NCAA investigation over recruiting violations. Ole Miss already self-imposed a bowl ban in 2017, along with other penalties, but it has strongly backed the coach.

It’s had an effect on recruiting, but Freeze believes the process will finally wrap up by the end of the year.

“The three aspects that have affected recruiting, (one,) some are true, some are not. It’s just the way it is, and we can’t control those,” Freeze said. “Secondly, the ongoing longevity of it has been difficult, because there’s no finality. Third, the restrictions we’ve put on ourselves in recruiting have been a penalty to us. We’re doing well right now, I like where we are in recruiting. …

We believe that, before these kids have to make their final decision, they’re going to know everything they’ll need to know. That’s what we’re telling them. Everything should be known by the time they have to enroll.”

Coming to SEC Media Days and being asked about something other than his current team is nothing new for Freeze. Asked his mindset heading into 2017, training camp will be a welcome reprieve.

Can practice get here in a hurry?” Freeze said. “I believe this is the fifth year in a row and I can’t talk about our players, because something else is dominating the talk. We have to take ownership in some of that, and I do think we have.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.