Hugh Freeze to be Suspended?


We all need to be careful what we wish for because if Hugh Freeze is suspended, our favorite team’s head coach is probably next.

We’ve poked and prodded at Hugh Freeze, and it has been quite easy. A Mississippi team rises from the ashes without a Manning, and they just got to be cheating.  Well, yeah, they were. Of course they were cheating. How bad were they cheating though?

The lack of solid evidence involving any of Freeze’s staff in academic fraud has left room for debate between the “well everybody does the same thing” and the “no way in hell Ole Miss got those recruits without MAJOR violations” arguments. That argument tends to go hand in hand in with the “Freeze is a good man, he didn’t know” versus the “Freeze is a phony putting on a show” argument.

I’m not sure who is right in these arguments, but one thing I do know is that Freeze seems genuine when he speaks, and he comes across as a likable man. Well, I sure hope he tickles the same fancy for the NCAA because apparently things are being turned up a notch.

Listen, I get it. Ole Miss obviously broke some rules, but is the NCAA seriously considering levying a suspension against Hugh Freeze? I mean, damn. A suspension? I know the NCAA passed a rule in 2013 focused at holding coaches more accountable for actions under their watch, but some cash under the table, some inflated ACT scores from the prior coach’s tenure and loaner cars don’t seem to warrant a head coach’s suspension.

Fines? Absolutely.

Loss of scholarships? Absolutely.

Vacating of wins? I’m not sure it is out of the question.

Suspend Hugh Freeze? Well, no.

Freeze would be the first FBS coach to be suspended under the new rules, but he wouldn’t be the first head coach under the new NCAA umbrella to be suspended.  Jim Boeheim was suspended the first 9 games of the ACC season in 2015. This was the result of the NCAA’s “unparalleled 8-year investigation” according to Jim Boeheim.

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The investigation of Ole Miss goes back to 2010 and runs through 2015. The most serious of the allegations were committed in 2010 by assistant coaches. The coaches are accused of basically tampering with ACT scores of students to help get them eligible.

Hugh Freeze took over in 2011. Would the NCAA really take those assistants’ actions into consideration when determining the proper method of punishment for Coach Freeze? I sure hope not.

Unless there is something else we don’t know, it seems as if the Rebels got a bit too free with the cash flow with some of their recruits but Freeze and his staff aren’t seemingly involved in any academic fraud.

Unlike North Carolina. How’s Roy Williams doing?

How many of these violations are shocking? How many of them would you REALLY be upset about if it was your favorite team that had gotten Laremy Tunsil? What if your team could’ve had Laremy Tunsil for the following:

  • 3 loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment
  • A four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle
  • 2 nights of lodging at a local home
  • an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate
  • 1 day use of a rental vehicle

7 out of 10 of y’all may say that you don’t want your team to cheat, and that’s ok. But the truth is, you’d be highly upset if your team missed out on a star because they couldn’t scrounge up 10k from around their tens of millions of dollars earned by the football program.

We’ve got Dan Mullen allowed to let Jefferey Simmons play after video has surfaced of him beating a woman. We’ve got Nick Saban allowing Cam Robinson to play after being arrested with firearms and weed. But the NCAA is considering suspending the head coach of a program that sat a player for 7 games his last season because of some borrowed cars and a sleepover?

Next: Chad Kelly to be Drafted in First Round?

That sounds ridiculous. That sounds so ridiculous that I’m more inclined to believe that Dennis Dodd just said that to get some attention in Arkansas and had no idea it’d blow up into this national story. Or, maybe he did and he wanted to get his name out there, but he doesn’t need that. So, I don’t know. I just want Dodd to be wrong. Because if he’s right, we all need to be careful what we wish for because our favorite team’s head coach is probably next.