Hugh Freeze, in an interview with Chris Low of ESPN, addressed social media activity he engaged in toward a Liberty student.

Part of the backlash from Freeze’s hiring at Auburn stemmed from Freeze direct messaging a former Liberty student as he attempted to defend Liberty athletics director Ian McCaw.

The student, Chelsea Andrews, was one of several students to sue Liberty in 2021 for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and Title IX matters. Freeze was not employed at Liberty at the time Andrews was assaulted.

In a one-on-one interview with ESPN following the news conference, Freeze said, “I learned from this situation that I should totally understand other people’s circumstances first before communicating or commenting on someone’s situation. It was an inadvertent misstep with no ill intent, and I am sorry.”

In the press conference introduction of Freeze at Auburn, the coach said a Sports Illustrated report of him turning over access to social media accounts was not accurate.

Auburn athletics director John Cohen, who did not take questions during the news conference, told ESPN that Freeze was completely transparent about his past transgressions.

“He showed remorse, and he’s had an accountability plan that he’s used for the last five-plus years,” he said. “Everything he disclosed to us turned out to be accurate after speaking with credible industry sources.”