Obligatory Freeze Takes Comment Count

Brian July 21st, 2017 at 11:41 AM


Prevail and Ride

I was going to write about Hugh Freeze today, but then I realized I'd already said most of the things I think about this kind of stuff. There's a post from a few months back specifically on the Ole Miss situation, in which the world's worst burglars decided to steal college football's biggest diamonds:

1. Brazen. Ole Miss's problem is that they made it blindingly obvious. People are dumb but they ain't stupid, and when a nobody with one year of college head coaching experience shows up in Oxford and acquires

  • the #1 player in the country
  • a five-star offensive tackle from Florida, and
  • most egregiously, a five-star wide receiver from Chicago

it's just a matter of time before the walls cave in. Nobody in the history of Chicago has ever thought to themselves "Yes! Mississippi! Especially the bit where not having a plantation owner as a mascot is controversial!" …

2. There are only two options for Hugh Freeze. Option A, which is by far the more likely, is that he was fully aware of what was going on from the drop and is a brazen liar. The alternative is that he is so impossibly naïve and delusional that he thought his very presence was sufficient to turn around the history of Ole Miss football. The Machiavellian interpretation is kinder, but this is a guy who compared Ole Miss's struggles to Jesus's trials on the cross so it certainly could be the latter.

Point for the brazen liar theory after an FOIA request from Houston Nutt turned up a call to an escort service. Freeze tried to pass off as a misdial; his athletic director conducted a broader search and turned up a "disturbing pattern." But also points for naiveté and delusion. All theories are correct.

Freeze's most laudable trait was his stupidity. Enough guys like him mucking up the works with Wile E. Coyote plots and the amateurism edifice will collapse on itself.

A more general take on folks who are publicly confrontational about their faith or goodness or your lack thereof was written after Penn State's awful scandal ground its principals into dust:

Just lug the damn refrigerator. Stop telling everyone how great of a job you're doing of pulling the refrigerator. Maybe someone will notice, maybe not, but once you start talking about it yourself your self-regard starts chipping away at the core.

If Penn State had not been posited as a Grand Experiment, it's possible that one of the four adult-type substances who could have put Sandusky's second career to a stop a decade before it did would have had more regard for the possibility children would be raped* than for what people would think about them. It's too late for all of them, perpetrator and victims alike, now. But to me the lesson is to shut up about yourself and get on with it. It will help you not make terrible mistakes because you are trying to preserve what people think about you in the face of what you really are.

Freeze spent the entirety of his tenure tweeting out psalms about what a good refrigerator-lugger he was, the best refrigerator-lugger, really. His dissolution is the least surprising public humiliation of a smarmy doofus since Jamie Horowitz a few weeks ago. Horowitz fell prey to the iron "you're doing dirt if you invoke your kids as a shield" law merely by surrounding himself with their photos when it came time for a NYT photographer to capture his inner essence. Freeze straight up used his as a shield so he could get holier than thou about satellite camps, of all things:

"I'll never apologize for wanting to be a father and a husband," Freeze said when asked about vacation time. "I miss enough volleyball games (and other things), that is a priority for me. ... I think we work very hard, I don't think working hard is an issue. If you're asking me if I want to add more nights away from my wife and kids, I do not. That window is closing for me to be a husband and a father and I think the kids that play in our system need to see me in that role an awful lot."

I immediately think "deranged sex criminal" whenever anyone does this and suggest you do the same.

Freeze schadenfreude roundup! Don't act like you're above it. Dan Wetzel:

There was never a concern for an injured party – be it Houston Nutt or all the recruits and their parents who the misdirection was designed to fool. They were the ones conned into sticking with the Rebels, led to believe everything was fine, when in truth bowl bans and sanctions that will crush competitiveness were coming. They were sold a false promise.

Freeze didn’t care about them, let alone Houston Nutt. Pumped up on hubris, he couldn’t do the simplest things – say he was sorry, tell the truth, admit his mistakes. He thought he could lie and preach his way through that one, too.


The record shows Freeze presided over a football program that committed numerous NCAA violations.

The record shows he called at least one escort service and likely more.

The record shows he did all this on his university-issued cell phone.

The record shows he did it while tweeting daily Bible verses.

The record shows that Ole Miss will now be in the awkward position of appearing before the NCAA and defending the integrity of a program whose coach just resigned because of moral turpitude.

The record shows a rise and a fall that will be remembered in these parts for a very long time.

Was Freeze a fraud?

Let's let him answer that.

“Because of Him, you don't need to fear unrighteousness," he recently tweeted. "It’s our delusion of righteousness that we should fear.”


Meanwhile Dennis Dodd manages to go too far:

Let's start with this being the single most embarrassing moment in the history of Ole Miss athletics.

If that history started with Freeze's hire this would still be incorrect. Ole Miss announced they'd stop playing "Dixie" at games last year.



July 21st, 2017 at 2:51 PM ^

That would be the most Lane Kiffin move ever.  Bolt the team that hired him 8 months earlier, a couple of weeks before the start of fall camp, without ever coaching in a single game.  Will his realtor give him a volume discount for selling his house a second time so soon?

If Ole' Miss pulled in any recruits at all under Kiffin, we would know for sure that it had to be the boosters.  No way it would have anything to do with a close personal relationship with the NCAA's answer to Repo Man.


July 22nd, 2017 at 2:48 AM ^

Freeze has a dilemma here.  Does he say he was calling the escort service for himself, piss off his wife, and give her a evidence for a large divorce settlement on a silver platter, or does he say he was arranging "hostess sandwiches" for recruits, as Ole Miss has been known to do in the past?

I would throw Ole Miss under the bus if it were I who was in this situation.


July 21st, 2017 at 11:56 AM ^

Always good to see justice come to pass. Glad he got found out and I love that old Nutt outed him. Enjoyable read

But let's be careful assuming putting a priority on family and bring role model in a public way means you're a closet devil. Harbaugh is literally a bible tweeter - "don't be deceived". I also think of Tony Dungy.

Sure, there's a point where you do it loud enough that it looks suspicious. But there are plenty of examples of both good and bad men shouting from the rooftops.


July 21st, 2017 at 12:56 PM ^

Tebow isn't catholic.

I dislike the term, but given my role and general social media approach, most people here would probably consider me (at least in private) a "Bible-thumper." Which, whatever. I'd probably even have the caps description attached. A lot of us actually endeavor to live what we believe, and while not perfect (nobody is) can manage things like staying faithful to our wives.

Some, like Hugh, don't.


July 23rd, 2017 at 1:35 PM ^

Late response, but no. I'm sure there are multiple definitions and you've cherry picked yours, but catholic is commonly used to refer to a universal church of Christ. So to say you are catholic is to say you belong to a universal church of Christ, i.e., you are a Christian.


July 21st, 2017 at 1:25 PM ^

In my experience, hypocrisy from Christians is a major reason why people don't take the Gospel seriously. Posting Bible verses on social media does not a Christian make (not directed at you, just people in general). I don't want to question Freeze's salvation because all believers make mistakes, but there's a reason Matthew 7:22-23 is in the Bible. I heard it put very well in a message I listened to this morning. Countless Christians today are trying to give away tickets to a place they've never been.

Hail Harbo

July 22nd, 2017 at 8:51 PM ^

This atheist isn't an atheist because he sees hypocricy amongst Christians, Jews, et al.  This atheist is so because of rational thought, those of you that look at Christians and see hypocricy and rationalize that being the reason you won't follow the Gospel might want to take a stab at being or not of your own accord.

Even as an atheist I recognize there is a lot of universal truth with most religous theology.  Not surprising, really, as religion has historically been a means of civlizing societies.


July 21st, 2017 at 1:31 PM ^

I haven't gone to church regularly in decades and even I'll reference a bible verse now and then.  The bible has some good stuff in it.   The problem I have is that it seems that the majority of  public "Bible Thumpers" are using false piety as a weapon to denigrate others, not as an actual guide for their own lives.  Sure, there are exceptions.  I have failed to encounter many.  

Most of people I know of that actually lived in a very religious manner were quite private about it unless you specifically asked them to talk about it.  


July 21st, 2017 at 5:17 PM ^

*Religion alert*

The sad irony is that while most wish others like Freeze would lay off Bible thumping, there will always be bull horn theists due to survival of the fittest.  Dogmas can only survive if they advocate proselytization, or severe penalties for deviation from the faith otherwise they will be gobbled up by more aggressive options.

I ran into my own version of the Freeze Religious Hypocricy Principle when I went with my brother and his now ex-girlfriend a few times to her evangelical church.  I noticed this pattern where the pastors and speakers all tended to boast about their sordid pasts, before finding Christ.  They were drug dealers, criminals, sex addicts, etc., and openly shared this with the congregation, to evidence that the congregation too, for all of it's faults, could be saved.

What quickly became evident, was that the congregation was walking out the door each week with a mindset that they could openly sin all they wanted, as long as they had Christ in their lives, at which point they'd be peachy with the Man upstairs.

I stopped going after a few times because of this realization, and sure enough a few months later I found out that girlfriend had been cheating on my brother the whole time.  I'm sure in her mind it was cool because every Sunday she could go in for that spiritual white-washing.

Makes a lot of sense why people like Freeze do what they do and be able to live in their own skin if you think about it.


The Fan in Fargo

July 23rd, 2017 at 4:14 PM ^

Kind of makes me sick. I don't go to church regularly I guess but if I had a family I would. Maybe though because it seems like a gathering of a bunch of fuck ups either way. However, my older sister remarried with her kids to a guy who is very religious. They attend chuch every Sunday and probably sit in front. He however is one of the most shadiest and fake personalities you will come across. He's so fucking stupid and arrogant that he thinks he is getting away with it and no one knows. The things he says in his little group huddles with friends and always has that smirk on his face drives me bonkers. He makes a ton of money as a Dupont Salesman. I warned him once that if I ever caught him cheating on my sister after her last divorce and what she went through that I would crack his skull. LMAO, the jackass responded with a swift and concise retaliation stating that he didn't like my threats. My sister is such an airhead and has become a crooked business woman the past couple years. Moral of the story is that the churches aren't all good people. Many of these sorry sons of bitches go there to keep their sanity. If they didn't have the church they all would be seriously lost and corrupt in my humble opinion. But hey, what do I know!!


July 21st, 2017 at 11:57 AM ^

The funniest or scariest part--not sure which--is the reaction of the fans on Twitter. It's amazing what people will believe simply because they don't want to accept the alternative. Cognitive dissonance.

Thread Jack

July 21st, 2017 at 1:07 PM ^

Some folks have difficulty separating the absolute/ideal from the fallible humans who share their love/devotion.  It takes time .. and experience.

It is not demeaning to one's love of God or a particular faith to acknowledge the hyposcrisy of a particular person who spouted Bible verses and had a hidden life such as Freeze -- even if you admired him (or what you knew of him).

It is not betrayal to say, "Hey, I appreciate your service, Coach, but you screwed up and made a mess.  You even betrayed me."  Maybe one can even add, "I'll support your clean-up effort."

It is delusiional to expect that humans will not fail, even when they share your values and loyalties.  And that delusion can be dangerous.  (See:  PSU)

The Fan in Fargo

July 23rd, 2017 at 7:00 PM ^

Exactly, he's old enough to know better. He's just arrogant and stupid enough to care. It's actually true if you think about it a little. Not to come off as a star wars nerd but the more arrogant you are while starting to preach your own righteousness in a sense with all the hoopla that comes with being a successful high earning college football coach, you start to see how it blinds you. The emperor told Yoda that his arrogance blinded him and it was true. Obviously there are some that can pull off the act but there are plenty that cant and it's great watching them fuck up in their own demise. They let that righteousness make themselves believe that people cant see or catch them in their bullshit dealings. All I know is all you have to do is sit around and wait for the dominoes to fall. The haters will spot these guys and eventually bring them back down to earth. Muhahaha!