Facing multiple allegations of Level 1 violations — the most serious offense in the new NCAA penalty matrix — in the aftermath of the latest notice of allegations from the NCAA, Hugh Freeze and his Ole Miss program head into the spring with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over them.
While Freeze isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt from the majority of fans outside of Oxford, three of his former Ole Miss assistants are struggling to comprehend the notion that Freeze runs a dirty program.
In a recent OM Spirit article written by Chuck Rounsaville, former Ole Miss offensive coordinator Dan Werner, former Ole Miss defensive coordinator Dave Wommack and former Ole Miss linebackers coach Tom Allen, now Indiana’s head coach, all spoke to the character of Freeze and his incredibly high regard for being compliant when it comes to NCAA rules.
All three coaches spoke positively on their experiences with Freeze, however, his former offensive coordinator went a step further. Despite being recently let go by Freeze, Werner adamantly claimed that the Ole Miss head coach was the most compliant coach he had worked for in his coaching career.
“I have worked for 16 head coaches in my career and I ranked them 1-16 on who talked more about doing things the right way, who is encouraging and demanding the staff all the time to make sure they are abiding by NCAA rules, who is the stickler for compliance and who preached to his staff constantly about the importance of compliance, Hugh Freeze is number one. He would say if you break a rule, it would hurt every family in that room and that was not something he was willing to risk.
“I can’t even tell you who number two is,” Werner continued. “Whoever it was, was 100 times less consistent and adamant about compliance than Freeze. No other coach I have worked for has ever come close to talking about doing things the right way as much as Hugh did.”
Strong words from a coach that no longer has to remain loyal to the Ole Miss program or Freeze after being dismissed. Although, it should be noted that none of the aforementioned coaches have been connected to any alleged violations during their time in Oxford.
How would former Ole Miss assistants Chris Kiffin and Barney Farrar have answered similar questions regarding Freeze? While that story hasn’t been told yet, it would be interesting to see if their statements mirrored the other three former Ole Miss coaches.
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