It’s been a week since Hugh Freeze resigned from his post as Ole Miss coach, and one of his most notable former players is coming to his defense.
Michael Oher, whose relationship with Freeze was depicted in the 2009 film The Blind Side, told USA Today Thursday that he still stands by his former high school coach.
“Without Coach Freeze there is no Michael Oher and no The Blind Side,” Oher told USA Today Sports in a text message. “[Freeze] is a man of God and a man full of integrity … I don’t know the full story, but I’m willing to bet that everyone in the world has made a mistake that they have wanted someone to forgive them for.’’
Freeze resigned after Ole Miss officials discovered a “pattern of personal misconduct” in phone records tied to Freeze’s university-issued phone. Records indicated a one-minute phone call to a number of a Tampa-based escort service.
Oher and Freeze won a state championship together at Briarcrest Christian School before going on to Ole Miss. Oher also was a member of the 2013 Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. He currently is a free agent after being cut by the Carolina Panthers last Thursday, the same day Freeze resigned.
Earlier this week, Sean Tuohy, who adopted Oher along with his wife, Leigh Anne Tuohy, also came out in support of Freeze.
“You just don’t give up on people and I’m not giving up on Hugh,” Sean Tuohy told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “It’s not any fun for any of us. But feeling sorry for him is not what I’m going to do. It’s been a bad week. That doesn’t mean it has to be a bad life.
“I’m never going to stop loving him. When he needs me, I’ll be there.”