Report: SEC commissioner discouraged Alabama, other schools from hiring Hugh Freeze

Former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze had plenty of job opportunities within the SEC this offseason, but SEC commissioner Greg Sankey kept him from being hired according to a report from AL.com .

The site reports that it wasn't only Alabama and Nick Saban courting Freeze to join his staff during the offseason, but "at least five SEC schools that had contact with Freeze about on-field jobs this offseason."

From the report:

However, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey encouraged Alabama not to hire a man as well known for the personal shortcomings that led to his Ole Miss resignation as he is for his success as a coach.

It's the primary reason why Saban, the highest-paid and most powerful coach in college football, couldn't add Freeze to his staff this offseason, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation who provided previously unreported details about Alabama's pursuit of the former Ole Miss head coach.

The report elaborates that both LSU and Missouri were two other schools that had interest in hiring Freeze but were discouraged from doing so by Sankey and the SEC. This is a result of Freeze's dismissal from Ole Miss and the NCAA infractions that took place at the school while he was there. 

According to bylaw 19.8.12, schools in the SEC must consult with Sankey before offering a job to any coach "who has engaged in unethical conduct as defined under NCAA Bylaws or who has participated in activity that resulted, or may result, in a Level I, Level II or major infraction." As part of the NCAA's punishment of the Ole Miss program, Freeze must serve a two-game suspension if any school hires him as a head coach before Nov. 30, 2018, but he doesn't have to serve any suspension if he's hired as an assistant.

Freeze had no comment on the report when asked by CBS Sports.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories
    24/7 Scores, News, Highlights
    FREE ON ALL YOUR DEVICES