Sport

Here's Why Nick Saban Couldn't Hire Hugh Freeze

Here's Why Nick Saban Couldn't Hire Hugh Freeze”

Nick Saban tried to hire former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze for the Alabama coaching staff earlier this offseason, but the addition never materialized.

It appears that the SEC intercepted a potential coaching hire between the conference's powerhouse and a controversial candidate.

Saban has praised Freeze heavily in the past - while at Ole Miss, Freeze scored two wins over Saban's Crimson Tide - and said in January that Alabama was working to find a way to bring him on board.

Saban has a "strong respect" for Freeze after losing to him twice, according to the AL.com report, and wanted to hire him as a co-offensive coordinator and position coach.

Per the report, Sankey told Alabama that hiring Freeze would be a bad look for the conference as a whole while his previous program, Ole Miss, suffered from NCAA penalties.

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". Those programs included LSU and Missouri, but a deal reportedly couldn't be reached because of the conference's stance on Freeze. Instead, former co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Mike Locksley was promoted to offensive coordinator, and former Penn State assistant Josh Gattis was hired to fill Locksley's former role.

As of now, there has been no action by Freeze to fight this supposed hiring ban in the SEC.

Freeze resigned from Ole Miss in July after the university discovered "a pattern of personal misconduct", including a call from his university-issued phone to a female escort service.



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