Ole Miss Football Coach Hugh Freeze Resigns Amid Escort-Service Calls Scandal - uSports.org

Log In

  • Home  /
  • News   / Daily Digest   /
  • Ole Miss Football Coach Hugh Freeze Resigns Amid Escort-Service Calls Scandal
Ole Miss Football Coach Hugh Freeze Resigns Amid Escort-Service Calls Scandal Full view

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Head coach Hugh Freeze of the Mississippi Rebels reacts against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first quarter of the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Ole Miss Football Coach Hugh Freeze Resigns Amid Escort-Service Calls Scandal

University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned effective immediately on Thursday night following allegations of phone calls Freeze made to a number associated with a female escort service.

Ole Miss Football NEWS: Hugh Freeze

Assistant head coach Matt Luke — who is in his sixth season as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach — was named acting head coach.


According to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, it was Rebels athletic director Ross Bjork who told the network that Ole Miss officials discovered a pattern of Freeze’s calls to the service.


Ole Miss chancellor Jeffrey Vitter announced in a press conference late Thursday that 47-year-old Freeze would resign immediately after confirming to him and Bjork “a pattern of personal misconduct inconsistent with the standards we expect from the leader of our football team.”

“While Coach Freeze served our university well in many regards during his tenure, we simply cannot accept the conduct in his personal life that we have discovered,” Vitter added.

Bjork said Freeze would have been fired had he refused to resign. The Rebels head coach had approximately $2 million remaining on his contract this year, $5 million next year and $5.15 million for the 2019 season but will not be paid going forward.

The Ole Miss athletic director also revealed that university officials delved deep into Freeze’s phone records on a school-provided cellphone and searched as far back as 2012, shortly after the coach was hired.

“Once we looked at the rest of the phone records we found a pattern,” Bjork told ESPN. “It was troubling.”

Freeze’s predecessor Houston Nutt — who served as Ole Miss’s football coach from 2008 to 2011 and is now a college football analyst for CBS Sports — filed a federal lawsuit against the university on July 12 alleging that his former employer violated the terms of its severance agreement. One day afterward, Nutt’s attorney Thomas Mars sent an e-mail to the school’s general counsel Lee Tyner, referencing a “phone call Coach Freeze made that would be highly embarrassing for all of you and extremely difficult to explain.”

The call Mars was referring to was one Freeze made on the night of Jan. 19, 2016, to a Detroit (313) area code and lasted just one minute, according to the emails the two parties exchanged. However, the phone number is associated with several Web sites advertising a female escort based in Tampa, Fla., according to USA TODAY Sports.

Tyner answered on July 14 by dismissing Mars’ suggestion that the phone call might be connected to Ole Miss’ ongoing NCAA infractions case. Tyner said the university had investigated the matter and that “the call to the Detroit number that lasted one minute (or less) appears to be a misdial.”

When ESPN asked Freeze about the phone call, the head coach vehemently denied purposely calling an escort service.

“We call the wrong numbers all the time,” Freeze said.

In his six seasons in charge of Ole Miss Football, Freeze led the Rebels to a 39-25 record, including a 19-21 mark against SEC rivals. After going 10-3 in 2015, the football program fell to 5-7 this past season. The Rebels begin the next season against South Alabama in about six weeks.

Ole Miss was recently rocked by another scandal. In February, the university self-imposed a one-year bowl ban for the 2017 season after it received a new NCAA notice of allegations that accused the school of lack of institutional control and Freeze of failure to monitor his coaching staff.

Following the allegations, which cite 21 rule violations in total, the Rebels have been forced to forfeit their share of SEC postseason revenues for this coming season, which could be as much as $7.8 million.

The NCAA also accused Ole Miss’s football program of providing improper benefits, including cash payments and merchandise, to prospects, as well as lodging and meals to recruits and their families, among other charges.

The Rebels are expected to appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in Indianapolis later this summer, possibly in September.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Hugh Freeze of the Mississippi Rebels reacts against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first quarter of the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Chat With uSports On Facebook! Get the latest news and interviews delivered directly to your Messenger!

Featured articles on uInterview.com

Written by Pablo Mena

Writer and assistant editor for usports.org. NY Giants and Rangers fan. Film and TV enthusiast (especially Harry Potter and The Office) and lover of foreign languages and cultures.

Latest News

Image Of Mike Trout Wearing A Mask While Practicing Goes Viral

Image Of Mike Trout Wearing A Mask While Practicing Goes Viral

As the MLB prepares to start its 2020 season later this month, numerous teams have begun holding practices at their…

UFC Promises Tighter Protocols For COVID-19 On Fight Island

UFC Promises Tighter Protocols For COVID-19 On Fight Island

During the absence of sports due to COVID-19, there have been many rumors about UFC’s Fight Island and whether or…

San Francisco 49ers Schedule & Ticket Info: Weekly Matchup Analysis

San Francisco 49ers Schedule & Ticket Info: Weekly Matchup Analysis

The NFL schedule has been released and with that, it means that fans can start buying tickets for the 2020…

L.A. Dodgers Sign Clayton Beeter To 60-Man Roster

L.A. Dodgers Sign Clayton Beeter To 60-Man Roster

With the MLB season set to start later this month, the Los Angeles Dodgers are making moves for their roster…

Black Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” To Be Played At NFL Games This Season

Black Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing,” To Be Played At NFL Games This Season

There will be another anthem alongside “The Star-Spangled Banner” at week 1 NFL games this season. According to the Associated…

University Of Alabama’s Steve Sarkisian Recovering Following Heart Surgery

University Of Alabama’s Steve Sarkisian Recovering Following Heart Surgery

After undergoing heart surgery last week, University of Alabama’s offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is expected to make a full recovery.…

Dodgers’ Mookie Betts Says He Has No Regrets In Turning Down Contract From Red Sox

Dodgers’ Mookie Betts Says He Has No Regrets In Turning Down Contract From Red Sox

In case you forgot, the Boston Red Sox traded star outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers a few…

MLB Unveils Full 2020 Season Schedule: Winners & Losers

MLB Unveils Full 2020 Season Schedule: Winners & Losers

Baseball fans got some exciting news Monday afternoon, as Major League Baseball unveiled its 2020 season schedule. Opening night will…

NBA Commissioner Silver Worried That Increase In Positive COVID-19 Cases Could Shut Down League Restart

NBA Commissioner Silver Worried That Increase In Positive COVID-19 Cases Could Shut Down League Restart

The first six NBA teams arrived at Walt Disney World on Tuesday ahead of the league’s restart later this month.…

WNBA Players Will Have Names Of Women Killed By Police Brutality On Jerseys During 2020 Season

WNBA Players Will Have Names Of Women Killed By Police Brutality On Jerseys During 2020 Season

With the WNBA slated to start its season later this month, on Monday, the league and the WNBPA agreed to…

Washington Redskins Name Under Review After FedEx, Nike Call for Name Change

Washington Redskins Name Under Review After FedEx, Nike Call for Name Change

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been feeling pressure to change the name of his team for years now. He…

Bubba Wallace Responds To Trump Calling Noose Incident A ‘Hoax’

Bubba Wallace Responds To Trump Calling Noose Incident A ‘Hoax’

When what appeared to be a noose was found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace at Talladega Motor Speedway,…