Once again, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze appears to be invoking religious beliefs regarding to the NCAA’s investigation into the football program. Now his religion has entered his recruiting pitch.

Four-star cornerback Chevin Calloway paraphrased Freeze’s recruiting pitch to SBNation:

“Well, Coach Freeze told me when you’re that big and out there with faith in Christ, he’s like, ‘What do you expect? Jesus got nailed to the cross.’”

Without hearing the words come out of Freeze’s mouth, or at least Calloway’s, it’s hard tell if Freeze meant that seriously, sarcastically, or metaphorically.

Calloway went on to say:

“So, he was just telling me sometimes things like that happen, but that’s never going to change how he’s going to treat his players and take care of them. Even if — I don’t know if he really did make the mistake, doing what he did or not — but I can just tell he’s a good person, great person. I know they’re looking at maybe a bowl suspension [for 2017]. I don’t know what they’re gonna do. But I don’t think that’ll affect anything as far as how he treats his players and stuff like that.”

Freeze has used religion before in response to questions about the NCAA’s investigations, so maybe he truly believes religions is at the heart of the issue.

Even if Freeze was using Jesus’ crucifixion as a metaphor, that’s pretty odd. And even if the NCAA’s investigation is off-base, who is the martyr here?

The NCAA’s ongoing investigation into Ole Miss football has lasted multiple years, looking at if Rebels recruits have received impermissible benefits. Ole Miss was already under investigation for recruiting violations, and the suspicions only became more serious when first-round pick Laremy Tunsil admitted to accepting money from the coaching staff after being drafted in April.

In May, Ole Miss self-imposed sanctions taking away 10 scholarships and a $159,352 fine.


About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.