Auburn brings in Hugh Freeze, but recruiting comes with baggage

In the days since reports of Auburn hiring Hugh Freeze began to surface, past violations of the football coach’s past under his watch at Ole Miss have come to the fore, from NCAA violations to his use of social media. The general backlash was part of the backlash against Freeze’s hiring on social media and the email inboxes of athletic director John Cohen, school president Chris Roberts, and other Auburn trustees.

Fans have expressed their concerns about Freeze’s candidacy on multiple fronts. Some reacted to responses to tweets from a student who sued Freeze’s previous employer, Liberty, for his inaction over allegations of sexual assault before Freeze arrived. Other fans have been plagued by additional scandals that have followed Freeze in the past.

The events stretch back to the late 1990s, told by three women who were students at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis. America Today in 2017 Freezing caused them discomfort from inappropriate behavior. That year, the coach was forced to resign from Mississippi after an internal investigation found an “anxious pattern” of calls to escort services on a school-issued cell phone. While the program was under investigation for NCAA violations, Freeze and others at the school sought to turn the situation to the military and the media as an issue primarily involving other sports or his predecessor, Houston Nutt. When the lengthy NCAA claim notice came out, it turned out to be wrong: Violations brought in a two-year postseason ban and massive hiring restrictions.

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