Ole Miss fully behind Freeze

Published 6:19 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2017

If there’s anything we learned reading Ole Miss’ 125-page document in their response to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations, the Rebels are 100 percent backing up Hugh Freeze.

Despite being hammered with the most serious charge of lack of institutional control, the University of Mississippi is not shying away from their head coach.

That can be really good or really bad.

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Normally the move of backing the man in charge of your football program could lead to disastrous outcomes, but the Rebels are putting their chips all the way in the middle and going all in.

The story Ole Miss is telling in response to the NCAA is nothing earth shattering, but there are many things that stand out in the full response.

Ex-assistant athletic director Barney Farrar acted alone and went rogue and lied to his superiors, including Freeze, when it comes to his involvement with recruiting for the football program. Ole Miss threw Farrar under the bus and proceeded to run over his body multiple times.

A former Ole Miss recruit (current defensive player for Mississippi State) provided an unreliable case to the NCAA when it comes to Ole Miss and changed his story multiple times, interfering with the investigation. The player’s interview with the NCAA helped provide them with the most serious charges handed down to Ole Miss. Ole Miss claims they have evidence of this player admitting to taking money to play for another university.

Not only did Ole Miss state that this player provided an unreliable and untruthful case to the NCAA, but Mississippi State did not allow Ole Miss to be in the interview with this player.

Mississippi State also denied Ole Miss’ request to interview Bulldog head coach Dan Mullen.

Even with the 125 pages from the university stating their case to the NCAA, it all depends on if the Committee of Infractions will buy into what the Rebels are claiming.

Ole Miss admitted to some of the violations, self-imposed scholarship losses and even self-imposed a bowl ban for the 2017 football season.

One thing was made very clear. If you come at Hugh Freeze and charge him with the most serious violations, it will be an all-out war.

Ole Miss claims Freeze held his staff accountable for NCAA violations and wasn’t afraid to punish or fire anyone that broke the rules.

That’s where we stand now. The NCAA wants blood and Ole Miss will not go down without a fight.

This situation isn’t ending any time soon. It will take the COI all the way into the 2017 season for them to come up with a final decision. It’s then that Ole Miss will know their final punishment.

The COI could agree with the NCAA charges and hand down Ole Miss a punishment that could set them back for years to come. They also could buy what Ole Miss claims in their response.

There’s no middle ground.

Backing Hugh Freeze in a situation like this is a bold move by the university and one that shocked many college football pundits in SEC country. If the Rebels are going down, Freeze is going with them.

One statement in Ole Miss’ response to the NCAA stood out.

“Freeze has done the right things to monitor his program and promote rules compliance.”

A statement like this solidifies that status of Freeze with the University of Mississippi. He’s not going anywhere. Freeze is our guy.

A strong wall was built between Ole Miss and the NCAA, Farrar was thrown under the bus and the current Mississippi State player provided an unreliable case to the NCAA.

Dylan Rubino is the sports editor for The Daily Leader. He can be reached at dylan.rubino@dailyleader.com.