Ole Miss Coach Quits After School Checks Phone Records

Hugh Freeze placed at least one call to an escort service
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2017 1:08 AM CDT
Updated Jul 21, 2017 6:50 AM CDT
Ole Miss Coach Quits Over Call to Escort Service
Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze pauses during a timeout in the team's NCAA college football game against Florida State in Orlando, Fla.   (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's five years with the team ended abruptly Thursday after he faced a choice: Resign, or be fired for "moral turpitude." Freeze resigned from the Rebels effective immediately after the University of Mississippi discovered that he had used his school-issued phone to make a call to an escort service last year, USA Today reports. Athletics director Ross Bjork says the brief call was initially thought to be a misdial, but the university then looked into the rest of Freeze's phone records and "discovered a pattern of conduct that is not consistent with our expectations as the leader of our football program."

Bjork says Freeze is leaving without a buyout or settlement, and if he hadn't quit, the university would have exercised the termination clause in his contract for moral turpitude, the Clarion-Ledger reports. NBC reports that Freeze was 39-25 in his time with the team and led Ole Miss to a Sugar Bowl victory last year. But he was dealing with multiple issues even before the escort call surfaced, including lawsuits relating to an NCAA probe that accused the program of 21 rules violations under his leadership. Ole Miss says offensive line coach Matt Luke will be interim head coach for the 2017 season. (More University of Mississippi stories.)

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