Freeze's resignation brings a stunning end to a five-year tenure that saw a Sugar Bowl victory, but also a wide-ranging investigation into rules violations.
USA Today and Yahoo Sports reported that phone records revealed that Freeze had placed a one-minute call to a number for an escort service in Florida in January 2016 from a university-issue cell phone. "As of yesterday, there appeared to be a concerning pattern", Bjork explained.
Bjork said the one phone call, which lasted around a minute, was originally believed to be a "misdial". Fallout from the NCAA investigation was the only way most people would have envisioned Freeze leaving the University, but after phone records and an internal investigation uncovered calls to an escort service, the University couldn't stand behind its coach any longer. "He's a leader", Bjork said. OL coach Matt Luke will take over as the interim head coach, DC Wesley McGriff has been promoted to associate head coach, and Bjork said that a new assistant would be hired before the season.
However he said, "Ole Miss is so much more than football or athletics of course that's the front door and a much loved part of the University but there's so much more". Bjork said he has not considered where he would start as he looks for Freeze's eventual replacement.
The program was already dealing with the NCAA investigation that charged the Rebels with 21 violations.
Let's just pause for a moment to note that Ole Miss, a program that is at the moment at a low point and ripe for comedy, went to the trouble of pointing out on which network this press conference will air. Bjork said that Freeze will receive no buyout on his contract.
MS does not face fellow SEC school Florida this season.
He has good pieces to work with: Speaking of the roster, there's a lot to like about Ole Miss on paper this season, especially on offense. He quickly drew attention for unprecedented recruiting success, headlined by a 2013 class that included five-star recruits Laremy Tunsil, Laquon Treadwell and Robert Nkemdiche.
Then there's Freeze, who should have been remembered as a coach with an offensive scheme that could give anybody fits in the SEC.
An imagine circulated around Twitter Friday of Kiffin's recent follows on Twitter, and they're all associated with Ole Miss football. Self-imposed penalties - including a bowl ban - and Freeze's resignation likely won't appease the NCAA.
The Ole Miss administration had been so strong in its support of Freeze that even amid the NCAA cloud it would have taken a revelation of this magnitude to cost him his job.
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Authorities said the title had not been signed, indicating Meo had not transferred the title to anyone or authorized its sale. Copies of charging documents in the case are attached below. "I'm not sure", he said , "we could ever answer that question".