Hugh Freeze has won 39 games while losing only 25 as the head coach of the University of Mississippi, which is more commonly called Ole Miss. Of those 39 wins four were in bowl games including the 2016 Sugar Bowl which was their first win in a major bowl game since the 1970 edition of the same contest. Although his team went 5-7 this past season they were expected to be back in contention for a winning record in the upcoming season (Ole Miss is currently under a self-imposed bowl ban for a five year old NCAA investigation into the athletic program) which is part of what made his resignation Thursday night surprising. This resignation was a result of a University investigation into Freeze’s use of his University cellphone and unrelated to the NCAA investigation that has dogged the school since his tenure began back in the 2012 season related to lack of institutional control and the potential payment of players.
It has emerged through a press conference that began at 8:30 EST that since 2012 Freeze has repeated called phone numbers associated with female escort services which violates the Moral Turpitude clause in his contract and would have resulted in his firing if he had not offered his resignation first. This story is the second major story in college sports over the past couple of seasons involving escort services, the first being the University of Louisville basketball scandal which alleges that players were provided with escorts as a part of recruiting. It does not appear that Freeze engaged in such conduct which means that he himself probably did not break additional NCAA rules but given the environment and the fact that this behavior has been going on for years there was no way he was going to be retained. His successor will be Assistant Matt Luke, who has been offensive coordinator for the past five seasons.