To say Ole Miss had a very rough offseason would be an understatement to say the least. The school was rocked with a recruiting scandal and a phone call to an escort service that resulted in head coach Hugh Freeze resigning, and now the school is waiting on the NCAA to drop the hammer. Despite the tumultuous offseason, the players can’t wait to get back on the field and put the distractions behind them. If you’re planning on betting on Ole Miss, check out latest college football lines for this season.
The drama at Ole Miss started with a lawsuit filed against the school by former head coach Houston Nutt, who claimed Freeze and the school administration tarnished his reputation by blaming him for NCAA infractions that occurred after he left the school.
Freeze, who had been portraying himself as a clean cut devout family man, allegedly told reporters off the record that the violations occurred under Nutt’s supervision. However, Freeze’s phone record was leaked and one of the number he called belonged to an escort service and he was forced to resign the same day the records became public.
Now, Ole Miss, which was expected to be a contender in the SEC, is in limbo.
Things are so bad for Ole Miss right now that Kyle Cole, a campus minister at the school, said he was ridiculed by inmates when he went to minister to prisoners at a maximum security prison in Kansas because he was wearing an Ole Miss shirt.
Cole joked that you know things are bad when men serving life sentences are laughing at your school.
Cole said he doesn’t find what is happening to Ole Miss to be particularly funny. Cole, whose wife, Amy, is also a minister at the school, attended his first Ole Miss game when he was two months old. In 2006, he and his wife were married in a part of the campus that is used for tailgating during football season.
Cole said that every member of his family, including his grandfather, goes to every Ole Miss home game, and the Rebels, no matter if they are having a good or bad season, are their entertainment during the fall.
Cole added that since Freeze resigned, he has been asked by students why such a thing could happen to a man that was very open about his faith and his belief in Jesus Christ. He said he believes it is an attack on Christianity because people don’t know what to believe about Freeze anymore and don’t trust him.
As far as Cole is concerned, the football season can’t get here soon enough because it would be good to watch the team and talk about football. This might be wishful thinking on Cole’s part because the media will harp on the Freeze story until the NCAA investigation is over.
Griffin Tanner, a restaurant owners and former Ole Miss athlete, said he isn’t paying too much attention to the preseason predictions that have Ole Miss finishing last in the SEC West.
Tanner said he considers himself a positive guy and will be hoping for the best this season, not only because he wants his team to succeed, he said winning is also great for business.