Hugh Freeze’s moment of truth

Published 9:21 am Friday, July 21, 2017

We don’t have much to say about Hugh Freeze’s behavior in his personal life. Any so-called personal moral transgressions by the former Ole Miss coach are for him and his family to deal with.

But the public revelation that Freeze has been deceptive for years certainly draws a direct correlation between this revelation that cost him his job as the Ole Miss football coach on Thursday and the NCAA’s pending accusations of misconduct against the Ole Miss football program.

For years, Freeze has taken a deny, deny, deny stance and Ole Miss has aggressively rallied behind that cause.

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Many in the outside world have repeatedly called foul. Hugh Freeze is not the man he proclaims to be, they said.

Even the stodgy and conservative NCAA all but labeled Freeze as a cheater, saying his program lacked institutional control. But Freeze denied, said others were merely out to get him, and the university stood strong in a line of support.

Former Ole Miss football coach Houston Nutt, who claims to be a victim of the Freeze deception, finally had enough. He took down Freeze, ultimately starting the avalanche of information that led to Freeze’s abrupt resignation.

Now that Freeze is now gone and Matt Luke is on the job as interim coach — Luke is a quality Rebel we are proud to see in place, by the way — Ole Miss is left holding a rebuttal with the NCAA that’s built on the back of Hugh Freeze’s credibility.

And we know, of course, that the same human nature that has led Freeze down a difficult personal road in recent years is rarely contained. Risky and deceptive behavior tends to travel in bunches for humans, with one wrong turn leading to another wrong road until life finally calls it all to a moment of truth.

So, while we have nothing but compassion for Freeze and his family for any personal problems, we are concerned that his risky and deceptive behavior ran deeper than this week’s revelation, and it could prove quite costly to Ole Miss.