Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, who resigned in July after a university investigation uncovered a "troubling pattern of personal conduct," issued an apology to Ole Miss fans on RebelGrove.com.
The controversy began when a call made by Freeze to a number tied to a Tampa, Fla. escort service was brought to the university's attention by a lawyer for Houston Nutt, another former Ole Miss coach who is suing the univeristy. Nutt’s attorney emailed Ole Miss’s general counsel and mentioned a “phone call Coach Freeze made that would be highly embarrassing for all of you and extremely difficult to explain,” per USA TODAY.
That prompted the university to launch an investigation into Freeze's phone records. In those records, the university discovered a "concerning pattern" of personal conduct, which led to Nutt's ultimate resignation. The Wall Street Journal reported that Freeze made numerous calls to escort services that lined up with recruiting trips.
Freeze went 39–25 in five seasons as Rebels head coach.
His full apology is below.
"While I realize a statement from me could be met with criticism and more negative attention, I believe I owe the Ole Miss family an apology for the pain and disappointment I’ve caused them. With this being an open week for the football team, and with the NCAA hearing behind us, this seemed to be the right time for me to speak from my heart.
As you know, in July of this year Ross Bjork asked me about a concerning number discovered in my phone records. In the days that followed, I shared with him the truth about my past, ultimately resulting in my resignation. It’s a truth I’d already shared with my wife, Jill, and with two of my closest friends months earlier.
While some of the things being reported about the matter are inaccurate, or in some cases completely false, it’s much more important for me to tell you that what I did was wrong, and there’s no justification for me making the selfish decisions that I knowingly made. I know I’ve hurt many people, especially those in the Ole Miss family, and I am asking you to forgive me for what I’ve done. I miss being a part of Ole Miss but will be pulling for our team every Saturday this season. To my faith family, I ask for your forgiveness and appreciate your prayers as well.
I have experienced unbelievable grace from above, from friends, and especially from Jill. Her strength and love through this storm have been incredible. Neither she nor our girls ever asked to live their lives in the public eye, but they have handled this with grace and dignity.
Words cannot express our gratitude for the outpouring of prayers, love, and forgiveness we have received from many of you. We have some incredible memories to hold onto from our time at Ole Miss, and want to thank you for blessing us over the last 5 years. While I realize there’s no good answer for the pain I’ve caused, I hope you can forgive me.