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Saban wanted to hire Freeze; SEC objected

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  • Saban wanted to hire Freeze; SEC objected

    This is not a huge surprise in the least, but it's interesting that it's becoming more public.

    If Nick Saban had gotten what he wanted, Hugh Freeze would be in Tuscaloosa this week helping Alabama prepare for its annual A-Day spring game.

    It's what the former Ole Miss coach wanted, too.

    The Southeastern Conference, though, wasn't in favor of that happening.

    Alabama was one of at least five SEC schools that had contact with Freeze about on-field jobs this offseason. Saban wanted to hire Freeze as a co-offensive coordinator and position coach, sources told

    However, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey encouraged Alabama not to hire a man as well known for the personal shortcomings that led to his Ole Miss resignation as he is for his success as a coach.

    It's the primary reason why Saban, the highest-paid and most powerful coach in college football, couldn't add Freeze to his staff this offseason, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation who provided previously unreported details about Alabama's pursuit of the former Ole Miss head coach.

    It was only a few days after Saban's mid-January meeting with Freeze that he learned he couldn't make the hire. Sankey informed both Freeze and Alabama that it would look bad for the SEC for Freeze to be back coaching in the league while Ole Miss suffered from NCAA penalties incurred under his watch. The SEC preferred that Freeze, who resigned in July following a "pattern of personal misconduct," go off the radar for at least a little while before trying to return to work at one of its schools.
    Much more...

  • #2
    While it seems implausible a coach as influential and successful as Saban couldn't get what he wanted, a nearly year-old SEC bylaw gives the league's commissioner additional oversight into schools' hiring practices. According to bylaw, a school must consult directly with Sankey before offering a job to a 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."


    • #3
      I didn't realize that Freeze was found guilty of unethical conduct resulting in a Level 1, 2, or major infraction that would trigger SEC oversight & approval. Did I miss the ruling that Freeze was found guilty? I don't recall any "show cause" penalty that would keep him off the sidelines throughout the NCAA field. And, wasn't OM's and Freeze's defense essentially "come at us , bro?"
      "There were no arguments, those were ass chewings....."
      Nick Saban 9/10/2016

      “I don’t know who is driving all this stuff, but to me it’s kind of like mouse manure when you’re up to your ears in elephant doo-doo,"
      Nick Saban 05/29/2018

      “You’re ruining the game with RPOs and illegal guys downfield. And you think it should be legal. You think it’s normal. Kiss my ass.”
      Nick Saban 06/13/2018