SEC

A lot of SEC schools want to hire Hugh Freeze. Here's why he's still unemployed, report says

Then-Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was interviewed as his Rebels team arrived at the Superdome for the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans in 2016.
Then-Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was interviewed as his Rebels team arrived at the Superdome for the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans in 2016. Sun Herald File

Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze could have returned to the SEC this offseason but there was one big catch, according to a recent report from AL.com.

AL.com's John Talty and Matt Zenitz reported Alabama was one of "at least five SEC schools" that talked to the disgraced Rebels coach about possible on-field jobs. They reported Alabama's Nick Saban was interested in making Freeze a co-offensive coordinator.

"However, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey encouraged Alabama not to hire a man as well-known for the personal shortcomings that led to his Ole Miss resignation as he is for his success as a coach," Talty and Zenitz wrote.

According to the SEC's bylaws, specifically dealing with hiring practices, the school is expected to consult with the league's commissioner, in this case Sankey, if the potential hire "has engaged in unethical conduct as defined under NCAA Bylaws or who has participated in activity that resulted, or may result, in a Level I, Level II or major infraction."

Freeze abruptly resigned from his post as Ole Miss' head football coach in July after an alleged phone call to an escort service was made public. Mississippi State recruiting reporter Steve Robertson ultimately shed light on what contributed to Freeze's downfall in Oxford, laying it out in his book, entitled "“Flim Flam: The Truth Behind the Blind-Faith Culture that Led to the Explosive NCAA Investigation of Ole Miss Football.”

Two months ago, Freeze made his first public appearance since resigning, speaking at Liberty University with his wife, Jill.

The NCAA hit Ole Miss with sanctions in December following a lengthy investigation into the school under Freeze's watch. Penalties included a post-season ban and reduction of scholarships.

Freeze had no comment when asked about the report by CBS Sports. AL.com reported the SEC also declined comment.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2327, @patrickochs
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