Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze made calls to escort services on recruiting trips

Published 1:22 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze made calls to escort services while on recruiting trips taken on a university plane, according to the Wall Street Journal.

On Jan. 16, 2016, Freeze made a call to a number linked to an escort service in Tampa, Florida a few hours after landing there at 5:30 p.m., according to the report. That call, which was discovered through an open records request made by Houston Nutt’s attorney, Thomas Mars, led to a extensive review of Freeze’s university-issued cell phone logs that discovered what athletic director Ross Bjork called a “concerning pattern” of personal behavior that ultimately forced Freeze to resign on July 20.

According to the report, which cited phone records and travel logs, similar calls were made that coincided with Freeze’s use of the plane, which the coach used more than 100 times during his tenure of five-plus years. The travel logs obtained by the Journal showed Freeze was in the Tampa area for a five-day, 13-stop recruiting trip, which cost $26,000 paid for by the university, but also showed trips taken to Florida, Louisiana, Texas and parts of Mississippi beginning Jan. 17, 2016.

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Freeze could face questions about public funds being used inappropriately if misconduct took place on trips paid for by the university. Bjork told the Journal the school didn’t look into the potential misuse of funds because it had already determined that Freeze would be forced to resign or fired.