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Christian Football Coach Hugh Freeze Resigns After 'Misdial' to Escort Service

( [email protected] ) Jul 21, 2017 05:27 PM EDT
July 21, 20187: Hugh Freeze, the Ole Miss coach known for his blending of faith and football, has resigned after the school found a pattern that included phone calls to a number associated with a female escort service.
University of Mississippi head football coach, Hugh Freeze. Getty Images

Hugh Freeze, the Ole Miss coach known for his blending of faith and football, has resigned after the school found a pattern that included phone calls to a number associated with a female escort service.

According to Yahoo Sports, athletic director Ross Bjork said the initial phone call originally was "attributed to a misdial." However, an investigation of Freeze's phone records disclosed a "pattern of conduct" that led the school administration to confront the coach on Wednesday night.

"Coach Freeze was very transparent, open, honest and admitted the conduct," Bjork said, revealing Freeze subsequently offered his resignation, which the school accepted.

Bjork said that if Freeze had not offered his resignation he would have been fired for cause, citing the "moral turpitude" clause in Freeze's contract.

"He admitted that conduct to us," Bjork 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. It's a sad day."

According to the Washington Post, the school's investigation resulted from a records request made in relation to a lawsuit filed by former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who claimed Freeze and the school had smeared him in an effort to ward off NCAA investigators.

Freeze, who had about $2 million left on his contract for this year, $5 million next year and $5.15 million for the 2019 season, will not be paid going forward

The former coach, who went 39-25 in six seasons at Mississippi, frequently discusses his faith in public and uses his Twitter account to promote Christianity.

Earlier this year, he came under fire from an atheist group after tweeting, "Lead us by your truth and teach us 2day, for you are the God who saves us! All day long I put my hope in you. Ps 25:5 - be a blessing 2day" and "Here's the best news ever, your eternal standing with God doesn't depend on the your goodness, but on God's unshakable faithfulness".

At last year's SEC media day, he famously said, "While I have struggles in life that I don't always get it right, breaking the rules in recruiting is not one of them. My name and the name of Him that I represent and our university mean more to me than I can express. It is my hope that we would be known for who we truly are and these mistakes would not happen again."

In an op-ed for Saturday Down South, Kevin Duffey encourages "fans and media" to resist "the need to pile on when it comes to Freeze's hypocrisy."

"Of course he's a hypocrite," he writes. "Frankly, we all are. Freeze is just a very public one. He's also a man. A man who made some mistakes like many people do. Fortunately for most of us, our mistakes don't get broadcasted to the world and mocked via memes on social media."

He continues, "Rather than pile on, consider taking the route of empathy. Freeze is a man who is suffering the consequences of his actions. His tenure at Ole Miss has ended, and rightfully so. Empathy doesn't replace consequences.

He's lost his dream job, and he's likely battling for his family. I hope that if Freeze's faith is central and core to his life that it will serve him well during this time."

Tags : Hugh Freeze, University of Mississippi, Ole Miss, Christian, football