By the time you read this, Auburn might have hired the dumbest coach in SEC history. And it could turn out to be a really smart move.
The dummy is Hugh Freeze, last seen coaching Ole Miss from 2012-2016. The SEC has had plenty of bonehead coaches, but none as adept as Freeze when it came to stepping on rakes.
It wasn’t so much the assortment of Level 1 academic, booster and recruiting violations. That just made Freeze a cheater.
It wasn’t so much he went full Sgt. Schultz and claimed he knew nothing about the shenanigans, blaming them all on underlings. That just made Freeze shameless.
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What set Freeze apart was using his school-issued cell phone to call an escort service. Talk about a brain freeze.
When Ole Miss officials checked the Verizon bill and noticed “Happy Endings Inc.,” Freeze said he misdialed. Further investigation revealed he’d made at least a dozen such calls.
That’s a lot of misdialing.
Freeze resigned when Ole Miss officials said they would exercise “the termination clause in the contract for moral turpitude.”
Freeze went into coaching and image rehab at Liberty, where he turned the Flames into a top-25 program. Auburn will get the usual roasting if it hires Freeze.
Only Freeze knows if he’s truly repented, but he doesn’t deserve lifetime banishment from a Power Five job. I think he’ll take full advantage of his second chance.
Freeze excelled at schmoozing and buying recruits at Ole Miss. Those traits will be magnified when he’s spanrmed with the NIL rules and Auburn’s war chest.
All that remains here is for this to come true – there were reports out Monday that Auburn has hired him – and a trip to the principal’s office. Freeze’s NCAA rap sheet is such that SEC bylaws require Auburn’s president to consult with the league commissioner for final approval.
Greg Sankey won’t torpedo the move, but he should pass along a bit of advice to Mr. Freeze.
If those old urges for turpitude resurface, don’t be a complete dummy. Please use a burner phone. …
Stud of the Week: Florida’s volleyball team, for winning the SEC championship. See, it wasn’t a totally lost weekend for Gator fans.
World Cup falling short in some areas
Dud of the Week: Qatar for its World Cup failings. Among the latest, fans were detained for wearing rainbow-colored items showing support for LGBTQ rights. If an actual rainbow appears over a stadium, Qatari police say they will try to arrest God.
Dud II: Ohio State’s defense. …
Kudos to the Pitt Panthers. In beating Miami at Hard Rock Stadium Saturday night, they set an ACC record when they had more points (42) than their opponent had fans (37, not counting the two guys selling hot dogs). …
Qatar Quagmire II – Saudi Arabia blocked the Qatari-owned streaming service that was supposed to show the World Cup. The Saudis accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, as opposed to simply bone-sawing journalists at their embassy. …
Do You Believe in Jinxes? – Superstition holds that you’re not supposed to talk about perfect games, hot streaks and other sporting feats while they’re still in progress. Right after Jim Nantz discounted the existence of an “announcer’s curse” last week, said Lions kicker Michael Badgley hadn’t missed a field goal or extra point all season … Sure enough, Badgley missed a 29-yard field goal.
In related news, Nantz just called me to say I’m writing a perfect column with no misspellings or less-than-brilliant observations. …
Qatar Quagmire III – World Cup organizers have offered refunds to visiting fans who got to Qatar to find they were being housed in converted shipping containers with no functioning toilets or showers. But they did get free streaming of the Pitt-Miami game. …
Is there any way we can get the State Department to block the World Cup streaming service back to the U.S.? Asking for a friend …
How about that Las Vegas Invitational women’s basketball tournament?
Best Imitation of Qatar Quagmire: The Las Vegas Invitational women’s basketball tournament. It was staged in a ballroom at The Mirage Hotel & Casino. There were no stands, just a couple of rows of folding chairs set up around the temporary court.
There was no scoreboard, only two large TV screens. Players had to supply their own towels. The Blue Man Group served as referees.
But on the plus side, the shipping containers players were housed in had functioning toilets and the winning team (Indiana) was not awarded tickets to see Carrot Top. …
Saudi Arabia declared a national holiday after it beat Argentina last week in the World Cup. With all due respect to Lionel Messi, if the U.S. ever declares a national holiday after beating Argentina in anything, I’m moving to Canada. …
That’s about all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. Please blame all misspellings and other shortcomings on Jim Nantz.