A day after Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze resigned following five seasons, the team lost a commitment from class of 2019 defensive back, Bobby Wolfe. This included beating Alabama, twice and bringing the Rebels to two New Year's Six bowls - a stunning end to a once-promising tenure. Throughout the convoluted mess that has become the NCAA's investigation, Freeze's image saved him as he continued to have the support of the University brass.
Most people won't ever remember that, not after multiple media reports point to a 1-minute phone call to an escort service sparked an internal Ole Miss probe that Athletic Director Ross Bjork said "discovered a pattern of conduct that is not consistent with our expectations as the leader of our football program". "As of yesterday, there appeared to be a concerning pattern".
Bjork said the one phone call, which lasted around a minute, was originally believed to be a "misdial".
Bjork told Yahoo on Friday that after receiving the information from Mars, the school had pulled records of Freeze's cell calls and plowed through 39,000 calls without finding another instance of a call to the 313 number.
"We would have exercised the termination clause in our contract for moral turpitude", Bjork said. "The conduct was just not something we could continue with as our head coach".
The school's head football coach stunningly resigned amid scandal Thursday, after reportedly making a phone call to a female escort service from a university phone issued to him. In response, Freeze said the allegations were not true and that the call was "a wrong number". "Matt Luke is his coach and Shea is the Rebel quarterback and we have a game to play in 30-something days", said Patterson, who said he received a phone call from Luke, who has been named the interim head coach, late last night. "He was a young kid from the Gulf Coast of MS and his brother had played quarterback at Ole Miss". Fired on July 27, 2011, amid an NCAA investigation about players receiving improper benefits and academic misconduct.
From May 2016: Ole Miss' troubles aren't almost at an end.
Nutt's complaint, filed in a U.S. District Court in MS, says that the Rebels and current coach Hugh Freeze wrongly pinned their problems on Nutt.
MS does not face fellow SEC school Florida this season.
The Orlando Sentinel's Matt Murschel noted Ole Miss still has a hearing with the NCAA's Committee on Infractions before that situation is ultimately resolved.
While Luke leads the Rebels this season, Ole Miss officials said it gives them plenty of time. Remember, Ole Miss will have $4-$5 million to pay to the right coach - I'd expect Larry Fedora at North Carolina, Justin Fuente at Virginia Tech, Jeff Brohm at Purdue and Bobby Petrino from Louisville to all be at the top of the list. Recruiting has been hurt, scholarship limitations are already in effect and the school has self-imposed a one-year bowl ban.
Hugh Freeze is no longer on the hot seat, as it were.