Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze really wants you to know he’s recovered from the messy end to his coaching tenure with the Rebels.
Freeze is listed as a speaker at an October business event in Seaside, Florida. Tickets for the event — billed “how to leverage your past in to a much bigger future” — start at $3,250. That’s just for a bed at the retreat space. If you want an entire bedroom it’s going to run you closer to $4,000.
For your $3,000, the site says you’ll learn “how to handle national criticism” along with “how to navigate uncertainty.” Those are some big promises for a coach suspended for two conference games in 2018 if another school had hired him as a head coach. Freeze’s suspension came as part of NCAA penalties levied against Ole Miss including a bowl ban for the upcoming season.
Freeze clearly doesn’t have a job as either a head coach or an assistant coach in college football for 2018. He’s speaking at a business event in the middle of football season. That’s an interesting bounceback.
Freeze resigned from his job at Ole Miss in the summer of 2017 after it was revealed he had dialed an escort service on his school-issued phone. As the school dug deeper into Freeze’s history, it said it also found a “pattern of conduct.” Other selling points of the event, which includes Freeze’s wife Jill, include “how to build relationship when your marriage gets tested” and “how to strengthen your faith during extreme situations.”
What happened at Ole Miss qualifies as extreme, I guess. Freeze had been trying to say the NCAA violations the school committed came under previous coach Houston Nutt’s supervision. The phone records were unearthed as Nutt’s attorneys searched for information in their client’s defamation suit against the school.
Another promise of the event featuring the Freezes says attendees will learn “how to change an entire culture and region.” That’s fun to compare with the NCAA’s report regarding the Ole Miss sanctions. In it, the NCAA said Ole Miss had an “unrestrained booster culture” that Freeze and others within the athletic department didn’t do a good job of quelling.
“Mississippi fostered an unconstrained booster culture — particularly in boosters’ relationships with the football program and their involvement in recruiting,” the report said. “This is now the third case over three decades that has involved the boosters and the football program. Even [Freeze] acknowledged that upon coming to Mississippi, he was surprised by the ‘craziness’ of boosters trying to insert themselves into his program. At the hearing, Mississippi’s chancellor acknowledged his institution’s problem with boosters, characterizing one instance as ‘disturbingly questionable.’ The chancellor pledged to correct his institution’s booster issues.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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