Sport Report: SEC commissioner persuaded Alabama to not hire Freeze

17:48  16 april  2018
17:48  16 april  2018 Source:

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“Another aspect to this is that should Alabama decided to hire Freeze as an on-the-field coach, it would likely need the blessing of SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. Sankey isn’t keen on that happening, The Tuscaloosa News has learned.”

Will the SEC have a problem with Alabama hiring former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze if Nick Saban decides to go in that direction? It depends on who you ask. On Wednesday,’s Aaron Suttles reported that SEC commissioner Greg Sankey “isn’t keen on” the idea of Saban adding

a man wearing a suit and tie © Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban tried to hire former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze for the Alabama coaching staff earlier this offseason, but the addition never materialized. Now, thanks to reporting from John Talty and Matt Zenitz of, we know why.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey used permission granted to him via bylaw to dissuade Alabama from hiring Freeze.

“Sankey informed both Freeze and Alabama that it would look bad for the SEC for Freeze to be back coaching in the league while Ole Miss suffered from NCAA penalties incurred under his watch.”

Though the bylaw does not explicitly give Sankey power to prevent a coaching hire — the final choice is the school’s — his thinking clearly impacted the situation.

According to the report, the SEC preferred Freeze “go off the radar” for a while before pursuing a coaching position within the conference.

That’s ultimately what happened, as Alabama promoted offensive analyst Mike Locksley to the coordinator position. He was the player-favorite choice, too. Saban also snatched Josh Gattis from Penn State to complete the offense’s side of the coaching staff.

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