Freeze Gets Slap on the Wrist in NCAA Ruling on Ole Miss Violations

Hugh Freeze Sugar Bowl
Photo by Bill Barksdale

Despite a host of penalties levied by the NCAA against Ole Miss for recruiting violations – including an additional bowl-ban year that Chancellor Vitter said the university will appeal – former head coach Hugh Freeze got off with a slap on the wrist … with a feather.

In its ruling made public Friday morning, the NCAA said Freeze “failed to monitor certain aspects of the recruiting process … and he did not monitor the actions of boosters supporting his program. Members of his staff engaged in numerous Level 1, II and III violations, while football boosters continued a long-trend disdain for NCAA recruiting rules.”

While several assistants received show-causes that will affect their ability to get coaching jobs for years, Freeze can coach again right away but must sit out the first two conference games of the 2018 season if he gets hired.

“Any member institution hiring [Freeze] as a head football coach during a one-year period, December 1, 2017, through November 30, 2018, shall suspend the head coach for the first two conference contests of the 2018 football season,” the NCAA ruling stated.

Other assistants received harsher penalties. Barney Farrar, named “assistant coach 3,” faces a five-year show-cause running from Dec. 1, 2017, through Nov. 30, 2022. “Any NCAA member institution employing assistant coach 3 during the five-year period shall preclude him from holding any athletically related duties,” the NCAA ruling states.

Chris Kiffin received a two-year show-cause order, which will prohibit him from “all off-campus recruiting activities.” He’s also prohibited from hosting “occasional meals” for recruits or from allowing them to visit his home for any reason.

Chris Vaughn received a five-year show cause that prohibits him from all recruiting duties, both on- and off-campus.

Meanwhile, an NCAA official confirmed to ESPN that Ole Miss seniors can transfer to another university without penalty because of the 2018 postseason ban. will provide more updates on this breaking news story as information becomes available.

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