So The Great Hugh Freeze is not, in fact, perfect.
We all knew this obviously, but if Ole Miss fans believe that he is not perfect, then they don’t always do a real good job of showing it. If you are wondering what in the world I am talking about, I am referring to an incident that Freeze had with a fan in the Ole Miss student section as he was leaving the field.
I don’t typically like to talk about other schools too much, and I certainly won’t talk much about Ole Miss on here that often, but this is something that needs to be discussed. It is not the first time that a coach has had a less than attractive moment with a fan, but with Freeze, it’s different. And it’s different because he wants it to be different.
If you follow football in Mississippi or in the SEC, you know that Freeze has made his Christian faith a large part of his public persona. As a Christian myself, I find that admirable. With Freeze though, there has always been a part of me that thinks he does all this for show to help with recruiting. If you think that it is poppycock that a coach would use faith to recruit, you probably haven’t spent much time around the mothers of recruits and how a coach’s faith would be a big selling point to those moms (who just so happen to have a huge amount of sway over their sons’ decisions). I’m not saying that Freeze isn’t a Christian, I just sometimes wonder how much a priority it really is in his life.
If you’re going to be this public with your faith, you have to limit these types of incidents to almost none. I think this is emblematic of problem that Freeze has that doesn’t ever get talked about: he has a short temper. If you ever watch him on the sidelines of a game, he has numerous meltdowns directed toward the officials almost every game. I don’t think it is that big of a deal with most coaches, but it is different with Freeze because he wants it to be different.
I also think this could have been excused had he handled it better in the press conference. When a reporter asked him about it, he just tried to dismiss it and would not discuss it. Unless something has changed, he still has not acknowledged the incident. Instead of trying to sweep this under the rug, he should have apologized on the spot and said he let an emotional ballgame and an unruly fan get the best of him, and that he would do his best to not let it happen again. But he didn’t do that.
There have been other incidents, especially the methodology to which he took to land that great recruiting class in which he basically admits to using a raucous party atmosphere to recruit players, that I have taken issue with because he is so vocal about the role his faith has in his life. If you want to be vocal about your faith, you better act differently if that’s the way you want it.
Update: Freeze did acknowledge the incident today at his weekly press conference, and he did apologize. Good for him. Would seem a little more sincere if he had acknowledged it and apologized when asked about it on Saturday night.