Hugh Freeze on Denzel Nkemdiche spring break video: “Not a step in the right direction”

NCAA Football: Troy at Mississippi

Hugh Freeze had to address another off-field incident involving linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche today after practice.

There’s a video circulating from Nkemdiche on spring break (has been deleted) yelling expletives at Mississippi State fans (What college kid hasn’t done that, right?). Nkemdiche is currently suspended for spring practice and the first game of the season due to an offseason arrest for disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. When asked about the video, Coach Freeze said he’s aware of it and has already spoken to Nkemdiche about it, according to Inside Ole Miss Sports.

“I’m not happy with it. Not proud of it. Hope he’s not,” Freeze said. “It’s definitely not what we want to be about, and the way you want to handle it regardless of what initiated it or caused it. There’s a way to handle adversity and controversy, and it’s certainly not that. That’s been made very clear to him. I felt comfortable with what we’re doing with the process of him regaining his rightful place on this team. Obviously that’s not a step in the right direction.

“As part of the whole process, it will weigh in on everything. That is not who we want to be about, how we want to go about doing things.

“It’s just going to be part of the … the process may be longer now. I’m not going to be put in a box on it. I feel very comfortable with the way we’re going about it. He’ll have to change some of his ways to get back right with us.”

The former freshman All-American is in Freeze’s doghouse and has a ways to go to get back into good graces, but Freeze sounds confident with the process Ole Miss has in place.

Photo Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports



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  • At what point does Ole Miss get sick of this negative pub from one player? I remember when all the Florida players were getting arrested, I was sick of it. Freeze is in a tough situation though with Denzel because of his brother.

    • Like most other programs they will go through the obligatory “we are going through the process” and “he’s doing everything we ask of him” and the they will sweep it under the rug and move on. He’s a starter and they will do whatever is necessary to get him on the field. The video has been removed but so you know, he used some of the harshest language possible while responding to someone saying “Hailstate” to him while walking on the beach. All in front of many families with young children present. There were several players with him of which one was Bo Wallace. The boy has no self control under any circumstance. Not very smart.

      • I honestly wouldn’t be against Denzel being thrown off the team, but you just blew that way out of proportion. A: I saw the video, and received a few snapchats of it from people there. He didn’t use “the harshest language possible”. A black guy saying the N-word to a white guy will never be considered harsh. B: His words were in response to someone. The “hail state” yelling was said well into his rant. He didn’t just start bashing someone because they happened to be a state fan. C: It was the college party strip of PCB beach, for Christ’s sake. The giant poles with fraternity flags let you know to keep your kids away. So unless you count the children conceived on that strip that week, then there weren’t any children or families present.

  • There has been bad publicity surrounding the Nkemdiche brothers, and QB Bo Wallace has been present at each incident as well. Not exactly what you want from the leaders of your team. They had two great signing classes, and this is not the publicity they wanted. The article says “all college kids have done this.” No, I never cussed people out on the beach or anywhere else and used foul language towards Ole Miss fans when I was at State. I was a performer, on the field, and people yelled at me, but I always acted professionally. If these young men were the great people we were led to believe, they should be above this behavior with every incident that has come about recently. I really don’t expect much punishment out of this from Freeze.

    • Thanks Pink, more athletes need to speak up.

    • Expect much punishment? He’s been suspened for all of spring practice as well as the first game of the year. Freeze admits that this latest incident may further the suspension. While I’m sick of Denzel being in negative news issues 3 times recently, none of them have been serious (felonious). They’ve all been typical college age issues. A fight, a disorderly conduct, and shouting at other folks during spring break. I’m not saying I condone any of it, but it’s not like he’s getting arrested for drugs or illegal gun possesion or something actually quite serious. He’s gotten in trouble for things that many college kids have done, and he’s been punished for it (& it may get worse).

  • Blame the recruiting services for telling 16 year old kids they have already become college and NFL stars, just waitin to be sign the big contract. High School kids don’t compete all across America so they can’t possibly be All-Americans, or 5 stars cause the eye test and timed runs just don’t tell the story of be a great member of a football TEAM. Not pickin on Ole Miss here, Missouri’s DGB is also learning the hard way.

  • As a Gamecock fan I can identify what Ole Miss is going through. We endured it for FAR too long with one Stephen Garcia. Regardless of his talent level I would have loved to have seen the HBC get rid of him after his Sophomore year in all honestly. Good luck with this Ole Miss!

  • When your as talented as the Nkemdiche brothers there are no rules in their eyes. Coach Freeze will say he’s gonna do this and that but in the end its a slap on the hand. Sadly this is all too common in sports now. Most of them know how far they can go and push it too the absolute limits. I don’t really think what he did this time is really that big of a deal but it seems he has a problem with doing it over and over again. With as good of a recruiting class they had it would be a shame to waste it.

    • You say you don’t think this was that big of a deal so obviously you didn’t see the video. He grabbed his crotch and called whoever it was 40 or 50 yards away a d$&@ su@”&!) bit&@ and threatened to beat his a&@. All this in front of several groups of people on the beach and some with children. He needed his teeth knocked out.

      • Your right,I didn’t watch the video.Just that he was cursing some State fans. We were all young and dumb at one time but being a trashy thug is something entirely different.If he done what you said then I agree that he should have had his teeth kicked in.

  • I don’t think he quite understands the concept of “bragging rights”. And besides, it’s not like anything harsh was said to him.

  • I’ll go ahead and say it for Armyguy… His language would have been much harsher had he not been hurt.

  • My favorite part of the Rebel’s woes? How everyone completely ignores Bobby Hill’s sexual battery arrest and subsequent dismissal, in favor of one of the star players yelling obscenities at a rival fan. In fact… I see no state fans commenting on that particular article. I can only assume it’s because it was because he wasn’t a high impact player.