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Freeze resigns; Luke named interim coach

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Ole Miss Rebels have made a shocking announcement, as they have revealed that Hugh Freeze has resigned immediately. Matt Luke will be the interim coach.

According to Yahoo Sports, who broke the initial story, suggests that Houston Nutt had a part in Freeze’s firing. His lawyer dug up phone records of Freeze that alleged to make a call to an escort service.

Hugh Freeze talking to Chad Kelley (Getty Images)

Hugh Freeze talking to Chad Kelley (Getty Images)

Freeze gets the boot, despite by his own doing, just 44 days before the season begins. The call in question was made by an Ole Miss-issued cell phone.

“Coach Freeze was very transparent, open, honest, and admitted the conduct,” Athletic Director Ross Bjork said.

Bjork said that if Freeze did not offer his resignation on Thursday morning, he would have been fired for cause. Bjork cited the “moral turpitude” clause in the former football coach’s contract. He also insisted that there was no buyout or a settlement, as Freeze was making millions to coach the Rebels.

“He admitted that conduct to us,” he said. “None of us are perfect. Nobody in this room is perfect. I think we need to respect how he resigned and respect his privacy.”

The 47-year-old was the Rebels head coach since 2012. He is 69-32 as a college head coach, including additional stops at Lambuth Eagles in the Mid-South Conference and the Arkansas State Red Wolves.

With the Rebels, he was 39-25 with a 5-7 record in 2016, his worst record since arriving at the school. The team did not quality for a bowl game.

The call in question, according to Yahoo Sports, came on Jan. 21, 2016 at 8:34 pm. It was to a Detroit number, which is linked to an escort service in Florida.

The call was brought to the school’s attention by Thomas Mars, who is representing Nutt, the former coach. He also reportedly questioned Freeze about it.

“I’ve got no idea, to be honest,” he said. “I was in an 813 area code and that was a 313 number, I think that might have been a misdial. I don’t think there was even a conversation. There’s nothing to it.”

The call in question lasted only one minute. It’s not clear if a conversation even took place.

As the Rebels head coach, he was 3-1 in Bowl Games. The only loss was in the 2014 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl when the TCU Horned Frogs dismantled Ole Miss 42-3 on Dec. 31, 2014.

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