Ole Miss head football Coach Hugh Freeze said there is “zero update,” on the NCAA investigation the school is enduing over potential payments to players. Tony Barnhart of GridIronNow is reporting from SEC Media days.
HOOVER, Ala. – Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said Thursday morning that he has “zero update” on the status of the ongoing NCAA investigation into his football program.
Ole Miss remains under investigation for statements made by former tackle Laremy Tunsil on the first night of the NFL draft in April. Tunsil, who was chosen in the first round, said in a news conference that he had received extra benefits from someone on the Ole Miss staff.
Freeze said he has not received a timetable on when the investigation might come to an end.
“I asked about that yesterday,” he said. “I was told that it was moving in that direction, but that it would be a total guess to be talking about timelines.
“But I wouldn’t be crazy about it happening during the season, but if that’s when it happens, we will deal with it.”
Freeze was asked if would consider staff changes if more violations have occurred.
“Not at this point, but I will,” he said. “They (the staff) know what the expectations are.”
The NCAA Committee on Infractions will review the Ole Miss response and decide if additional penalties are warranted.
“The time for us to be held accountable is coming,” Freeze said. “Whatever we did wrong we should be held accountable – and we will be.”
During a later session with the media, Freeze said the most bothersome aspect of the investigation was its length.
“If we didn’t have draft night, it would probably be over,” he said. “It’s difficult when you first start seeing your name being drug through the mud. But you know who you are. The day that really matters is the day we get to share our side with the Committee on Infractions.”
He said he also was bothered by some of the coverage of the probe
“It bothers me that we live in an age where innuendos and un-sourced people are named,” he said. “If you tell me who that coach is (the SEC coach who supposedly informed on Ole Miss to NCAA), I’d love to have a conversation with him. . . . I like all the coaches in our league, so I’m not sure who (the media is) referring to.”
Freeze did say that the looming decision by the NCAA will not be a distraction to his team’s preparation for the season.
“What keeps me up is the Florida State defensive line,” he said.
Ole Miss opens with Florida State in Orlando on September 5 in Orlando.
(You can follow Tony Barnhart on Twitter @MrCFB)