Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze threatens to have reporter arrested

Published 1:42 pm Friday, August 11, 2017

Hugh Freeze is apparently doing more than keeping quiet about the NCAA’s investigation into Ole Miss’ football program.

In a story about ex-Ole Miss staffer Barney Farrar’s role in the probe, the Washington Post reported the former Ole Miss coach threated to have a reporter arrested when approached with questions about Farrar. Will Hobson, who was in Oxford recently to write the story, reported Freeze answered the door at his home but declined to answer questions before making the threat.

Freeze, who had coached the Rebels since 2012, was forced to resign July 20 amid an escort scandal but also leaves behind a program facing 21 alleged rules violations from the NCAA. Fifteen of those are Level I charges, the most serious in the eyes of college sports’ governing body, with 11 of them tied to Freeze’s tenure.

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Farrar is named in four Level I allegations, most of which pertain to his alleged involvement in the recruitment of linebacker Leo Lewis, who was once committed to Ole Miss before signing with Mississippi State in 2015. Among the accusations against Farrar are helping arrange for Lewis, fellow Mississippi State player Kobe Jones and Lindsey Miller, the stepfather of former Ole Miss star Laremy Tunsil receive $2,800 worth of free merchandise from Rebel Rags and arranging for Lewis to receive cash payments between $13,000 and $15,600 from a booster.

Ole Miss painted Farrar, who was fired as the associate athletic director for junior college and high school relations in December, as a rogue assistant in its response to the amended Notice of Allegations it received earlier this year, stating Farrar acted alone in a deceptive “scheme.” Farrar’s attorney, Bruse Loyd, said earlier this summer his client was singled out.

“I was like a man without a country,” Farrar told the Post.

Ole Miss’ hearing with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions is set for Sept. 11.