Hugh Freeze resigned in disgrace as the head football coach at Ole Miss last month after the university discovered a pattern of misconduct. One of the major revelations were calls Freeze made to escort services, but it turns out his phone records have revealed far more.
USA Today’s Dan Wolken reported on Friday that between January 2015 and the time he was fired, Freeze exchanged at least 200 phone calls with Lee Harris. Harris is a “disassociated booster” who allegedly gave a recruit free food and cash at his restaurant in Oxford, Mississippi.
Harris is a big part of the NCAA’s current case against Ole Miss and Freeze, so the fact that the 47-year-old coach was calling him constantly does raise some questions. According to Wolken, in 2016 the pair averaged 13 phone conversations a month.
OK, so a coach called his friend who happens to be a dirty booster, that doesn’t mean there’s anything nefarious going on, right? Well, when that coach is calling that friend from an Ole Miss-issued phone and he’s a guy who got the school in a ton of trouble with the NCAA, it takes on an entirely different connotation.
Freeze’s lawyer swears up and down that his client never discussed the NCAA case with Harris, but why should we believe that? Pretty much everything that has come from Freeze’s side of things during his time at Ole Miss has been a lie.
It would be a violation of NCAA bylaw 10.1 for Freeze and another person involved in the case to discuss it. If the NCAA thinks Ole Miss didn’t sufficiently monitor Freeze’s contact with a dirty booster closely enough, it could levy additional penalties on the school.
We’ll see how this turns out.