Community divided after fallout from Freeze resignation

OXFORD, MS (WMC) - Residents in Oxford are still recovering from the shock of Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze's resignation.

The resignation that sent Twitter trending and that left Oxford buzzing Friday morning is the same resignation that has left the community divided on its support for the former coach.

Some people are declaring Freeze guilty, while others are touting that he is a great man.

Some fans said they're disappointed, while others said Freeze deserved it. Still others said they're just tired of drama being brought to Ole Miss.

Hugh Freeze brought success to the Ole Miss Rebels after capturing four bowl game victories and the legacy of being one of only a few coaches to defeat Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide in back-to-back seasons.

However, the legacy Freeze leaves is tainted with scandal, as an NCAA investigation still looms over the program. Those scandals have left some fans upset with their school and their former coach.

"It's terribly sad to see Coach Freeze gone. I believe he's a great guy, so I personally don't believe he did anything wrong," Ole Miss student Luke Reichert said.

Others said despite his record, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

"Well, it's disappointing. He's a good coach, but there are too many questions I guess about integrity and the program and the university," Ole Miss alumni Corey Beard said.

Despite gaining support from some, others don't think Freeze is that good of a guy.

"Where there is smoke there has got to be fire," George Fisher said. "It's been a long drawn out situation. It just seems like it kind of came to a head and, you know, people get what's coming to them."

Freeze also faces a firestorm on social media, ridiculed for his religious beliefs following the allegations.

"Yes it was a mistake," student Jared Redding said. "But, as a Christian, we all make mistakes. None of us is perfect. There is only one man on this earth that was perfect and that is Jesus Christ."

Players, such as former wide receiver Donte Moncrief, took to Twitter defending Freeze and encouraging the Ole Miss Rebels.

Current wide receiver Trey Bledsoe tweeted a Bible verse along with a team photo.

Timeline of events

November 27, 2007: Nutt hired at Ole Miss days after resigning from Arkansas amid controversy

November 7, 2011: Nutt fired after losing 12 straight SEC games

December 5, 2011: Freeze hired as Ole Miss head coach

January 2016: Ole Miss receives the first Notice of Allegations

April 2016: Laremy Tunsil social media shows him smoking marijuana. Later that night he confessed to taking money from coaches during NCAA reopens the investigation into the program.

May 2016: Ole Miss imposes sanctions against itself while responding to NCAA Notice of Allegations (NOA)

December 2016: Ole Miss fires assistant coach Barney Farrar, who was specifically named in text conversation with Tunsil as a coach who could supply the player with money

February 2017: Ole Miss receives the second NOA

June 6, 2017: Ole Miss releases its response to the NOA

July 12, 2017: Houston Nutt sues Ole Miss Athletics

July 20, 2017: Hugh Freeze resigns

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