Ole Miss has apologized for since-deleted tweets from the program’s football Twitter account that made fun of former coach Hugh Freeze.
Following the Rebels’ 27-14 victory over Liberty on Saturday, the Ole Miss football program tweeted out two posts in succession that made fun of Freeze. The first mirrored a quote Freeze tweeted out while he was still coach of the Rebels in 2013:
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The second tweet — captioned, “Won the Day” with a thumbs up emoji — showed a picture of Freeze giving a thumbs up from a hospital bed in the coaches booth. He was forced into that situation after doctors repaired what was a potentially lethal staph infection; Freeze’s Flames lost 24-0 to Syracuse in that 2019 meeting.
The tweets have since been deleted, and Ole Miss athletics director Keith Carter has apologized for there being posted at all.
“These tweets were unfortunate and not who we are in Ole Miss athletics,” Carter told ESPN. “When I found out about them, they were immediately taken down. I have spoken with (Liberty athletic director) Ian McCaw to relay my sincere apology. We will work to do better in the future.”
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Lane Kiffin, who has been known to go viral on Twitter occasionally, also apologized for the tweets. He said he had no knowledge of them beforehand, and no association with the account in question.
“I have no affiliation with the Ole Miss football Twitter site, even though it may sound strange, and I first learned about the tweets after my press conference when Keith Carter told me about them,” Kiffin said. “I’m completely embarrassed that anyone would put something out there like that making it look like it was a part of Ole Miss football. It was extremely disrespectful, bush league and classless, and I apologize, even though I had nothing to do with it, to Liberty and Hugh Freeze.”
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Freeze — who resigned from Ole Miss ahead of the 2017 season and whose several NCAA infractions severely limited the Rebels after he left — thanked the program in a tearful news conference following Saturday’s game.
“To Ole Miss people, thank you for your kindness to me and my family,” Freeze told reporters. “The reception from Ole Miss people at hotel in Tupelo and as we were walking into (Vaught Hemingway Stadium), they were incredibly kind. It’s an answered prayer for Jill and I. I’m thankful.”