Rebels’ Hugh Freeze looks comfortable and poised as he answers questions about NCAA investigation
HOOVER, Ala. – At SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze did not shy away from any questions concerning the NCAA investigation into the Rebels’ football program. He did what every good coach would do: take ownership.
But Freeze is mentally ready to put the ongoing investigation behind him so he can focus on the Rebels’ first test of the 2016 season against the Florida State Seminoles. Just like he had to during the spring following the NFL Draft, Freeze answered questions at the finale of Southeastern Conference Football Media Days on Thursday concerning the current allegations against Ole Miss.
And as Freeze stood at the podium, he answered every question about the ongoing investigation to the best of his ability, making it clear he is patiently waiting for the final verdict so he can make move forward.
“I remain very confident in who we are and our core values and how we do things,” Freeze said. “We have fully cooperated with the NCAA throughout the entire process, which has been a long process. We discovered most of the facts that led to self-reports and that’s how a good compliance office works.”
Freeze never looked nervous nor did he stutter when he was asked about the impact of the investigation. He simply tackled every question head on, taking a strong stand for a football program that continues to become more relevant each and every season since Freeze’s arrival.
“As a head coach, I understand that I’m held accountable for the things that happened within our building and even outside the walls of our building,” Freeze said. “Our compliance team is working extremely hard to seek a resolution to this case.
“And also into the events from NFL Draft night and we look forward to the conclusion of this entire process. No one looks forward to that more than I do.”
Before Freeze met with the national media, he met with the local media from Oxford and discussed one thing that has really been on his mind–Florida State’s defensive line.
The Seminoles return defensive ends Josh Sweat and DeMarcus Walker and outside linebacker Jacob Pugh. The three players made a total of 27 starts in 2015. Junior defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, who made 13 starts last season, is coming back for Florida State as well.
“We don’t have to obviously work too hard to get prepared to get motivated for week one, opening up Monday night football in Orlando, Florida against the team the caliber of Florida State,” Freeze said. “Our kids are locked in for that and focused for that and preparing for that.”