Should Ole Miss give Freeze the ole heave ho?

Mississippi head coach Hugh Freeze leaves the field after an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. LSU won 38-21. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Ole Miss gave itself a one-year bowl ban after the NCAA uncovered 21 alleged violations.

The story:

The NCAA is coming hard for Freeze, charging his Ole Miss football program with serious cheating allegations, the school with lack of institutional control and the head coach personally for unsatisfactory oversight of his assistants, who are charged with carrying out blatantly illicit violations, not “mistakes” as Freeze once attempted to characterize them.

The seven additional charges:

• A former student-athlete was allowed to hunt on property owned by a booster while he was being recruited by the Rebels and then again on a few occasions after he enrolled at Ole Miss.

• From March 2014 to January 2015, a former Ole Miss staff member provided improper recruiting inducements in the form of lodging and transportation to two prospects who enrolled at other institutions. The NCAA said the improper benefits were valued at $2,272.

• A former Ole Miss staff member committed unethical conduct by providing false and misleading information to the university and the NCAA about his involvement in the recruiting violations.

• A former Ole Miss staff member arranged for a recruit to receive cash payments from two boosters totaling $13,000 to $15,600.

• A former staff member arranged for the associate of a recruit to receive merchandise from a store owned by a booster, and two other prospects received goods from the same store totaling about $2,800.

• In 2014, a current Ole Miss football coach made improper in-person, off-campus contact with a football prospect.

• A booster provided free food and drinks to a recruit at the booster’s restaurant, totaling between $200 and $600 in improper benefits.

Ole Miss chancellor, athletic director and coach in 21 minute video discussing the allegations:

SB Nation ranks all 21 NCAA allegations.

On Coach Freeze:

Even if a school is resolutely against firing its coach, the Committee on Infractions has the power to make it so painful there’s no other choice. If Ole Miss ultimately has to choose between Freeze and the kind of debilitating penalties that might send the program into a decade-long abyss, it’s really no choice at all.

If that’s how it ends for Freeze, it will be hard to feel too bad for him. A decade ago, he was a relative nobody in his late 30s, grinding out a living without an obvious path to big-time coaching. Now he’s banked millions of dollars, fulfilled lifelong dreams and given himself a platform to expand his charity work, which is both real and highly commendable.

No matter what happens, Freeze will be fine, which is why it was odd last summer at SEC Media Days to hear him say over various interviews that he wasn’t “tempted to cheat,” an obviously rehearsed and carefully crafted line that might sound good but has no basis in reality.

Freeze’ words:

“As the record will show, I am constantly communicating to our compliance office, the SEC office and industry leaders to make sure we are using best practices when it comes to doing things the right way,” Freeze said as part of a 21-minute Ole Miss video announcing the notice of allegations. “Contrary to the allegations, I have demonstrated throughout this entire process that I have a strong record of promoting compliance and monitoring my staff, and I look forward to presenting that evidence to the Committee on Infractions.”

Did it seem shady?

What do you think? Should coach Hugh Freeze be fired?

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