According to his response to the NCAA’s notice of allegations, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze was “stunned and disgusted” after hearing of alleged violations committed by former Ole Miss staffer Barney Farrar.
The school has said Farrar “intentionally hid misconduct” from Ole Miss’ compliance staff and Freeze while also using multiple intermediaries. In his response to the NCAA released Friday, Freeze’s lawyer wrote the coach first learned about the allegations Dec. 20.
“Finally, on December 20, 2016, Coach Freeze was interviewed by the staff and informed for the first time about [redacted] allegations. With regard to Farrar’s participation in volations, Coach Freeze was stunned and disgusted, remarking at one point, “I want to vomit.”
Freeze’s response also said Freeze said he would have fired Farrar “on the spot” if an allegation that Farrar had arranged for a recruit to receive free merchandise was true. The player alleged Farrar made the arrangement in a December interview with the Ole Miss compliance staff. Freeze then allegedly told his staff and Farrar that no such deals could be made and Farrar said he understood that.
“When asked whether his commentary “would have been limited to just recommending places,” Farrar confirmed “that would have been it. Not only was Farrar aware of Coach Freeze’s instructions on this particular issue, there is no question that both he and Kiffin knew that they could not arrange for free apparel for prospects.”
Ole Miss is accused of committing 21 football violations by the NCAA. The school has already self-imposed a bowl ban for the 2017 season while it is disputing many of the allegations. Freeze’s response is similar to Ole Miss’, which also says Farrar hid potential violations from other staff members. Farrar was fired at the end of 2016.
In the coach’s response, Freeze’s lawyer disputes the validity of other allegations involving recruits getting free apparel from a store.
Farrar’s response was also published in full Friday. Wednesday, Yahoo Sports reported that Farrar’s lawyer said the school “decided to lay the blame on coach Farrar in an attempt to deflect the NCAA’s probe from them and offer up coach Farrar as a sacrifice to curry favor with the NCAA.”
Farrar admits to committing some NCAA violations — including providing improper transportation and meals — in his response while denying others. One of the allegations Farrar denies is one where he allegedly impermissibly arrange for lodging for a recruit.
“The most outrageous of [redacted] allegations are that Farrar arranged a hotel for him the weeked of the Alabama game. [Redacted] testified that he began the weekend of October 4th, 2014 in Starkville, Mississippi for Texas A&M at MSU. Then, toward the end of that game, he drove with his cousin to Oxford for Alabama at Ole Miss. [Redacted] testified that he did not give Farrar any notice that he was coming to the game. However he maintains that he still stayed at a hotel off campus. The staff accepted this story as true. Therefore, according to the staff, it is a reasonable conclusion that in the middle of the Alabama game, Farrar left the field and arranged a room for [redacted], even though this was probably the single busiest weekend of the year for hotels in Oxford and the biggest regular season game of the year for the Ole Miss football team. Common sense dictates that this is not possible.”
Farrar also defends Freeze’s integrity in his response and said he’s “forever grateful” for being on Ole Miss’ staff.
“Farrar has been charged with four Level I violations of NCAA Legislation, any one of which can end a career. If Farrar violated NCAA rules, it was a grievous fault and grievously hath he answered it: a job lost, a career ended, a reputation destroyed, all before these briefs are submitted. Regardless, he will fight on and he just may very well prevail. However, before he turns to the task before him, he wants to give a message and request to the panel on behalf of Coach Freeze and Ole Miss: In his time on Coach Freeze’s staff, Coach Freeze never asked Farrar to break any NCAA rule but always reinforced how important it was that he follow the rules and maintain the highest standards of conduct. Farrar expresses his hope that his panel will give Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze every opportunity and consideration in these proceedings. It is deserved.”
You can read Freeze and Farrar’s full responses below.
For more Ole Miss news, visit RebelGrove.com.
[More college football from Yahoo Sports: Dr. Saturday’s still-too-early Top 25]
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