Hugh Freeze comments on viral Nkemdiche photo depicted as bong
A Tennessee fan released a Snapchat photo Monday, claiming it depicts Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche smoking marijuana.
— Not Danny Ford (@1981tigers1981) October 13, 2014
A message board thread on Volquest.com claims the fan has held the photo since August, planning to release it the week of the Ole Miss-Tennessee game. Rebels coach Hugh Freeze, asked about the photo Monday, didn’t seem concerned. He also seemed to indicate that if Nkemdiche used drugs, the team’s drug testing program would catch it.
Hugh Freeze says he is aware of Robert Nkemdiche photo, including date of and where. "Super confident" drug tests were handled correctly.
— Hugh Kellenberger (@HKellenbergerCL) October 13, 2014
Freeze says drug policy at #OleMiss is enforced. "Super confident" things are handled in the right way. All are dealt with in same manner.
— Parrish Alford (@parrishalford) October 13, 2014
Considering Nkemdiche is one of the biggest defensive stars in the country and arguably the best player on the nation’s best defense, any potential disruption in playing time would be a huge story. But even if the photo is of the true sophomore, there’s no proof that Nkemdiche is participating in any illicit activities.
The issue of marijuana use in college football has come under scrutiny in recent years. Teams drug testing their athletes handle positive tests in different ways, as there’s no uniform or mandatory punishment.
We’re not advocating drug use — college athletes, especially star players with potential NFL futures, should make better decisions — but taking to the internet to out a player from another team for something relatively harmless seems distasteful.