The Rebels have been building a case for defending Freeze for the allegations of the now-former head coach committing recruiting violations. And even though Freeze is no longer with the program, his former team can’t backtrack now.
Per Sports Illustrated‘s Andy Staples, Ole Miss’ best chance in its hearing is to use the same defense it had when responding to the NCAA’s second notice of allegations. A former member of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions told Staples that should be what the Rebels do.
This means that Ole Miss can’t just blame the whole scandal on Freeze, which would be an easier out now that he is no longer with the program. Staples states that would not look favorable for the program in front of the committee, although he mentions that the Rebels should be able to change the language they use to shift the case in their favor.
“If committee members view Freeze as the driving force behind the violations and subconsciously view Freeze and Ole Miss as separate entities, it’s possible they hit Freeze with a harsh penalty and the school with a lighter one,” Staples wrote.