Report: SEC blocked Saban from Freeze hire

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey reportedly discouraged Alabama coach Nick Saban from adding Hugh Freeze to the Crimson Tide coaching staff.

Saban, who hired former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones as a consultant, wanted to bring on Freeze as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.

But Sankey, according to Al.com, did not want Freeze to work a prominent job in the conference this season. He informed multiple schools, including Alabama, LSU and Missouri, of the conference’s position that Freeze should not prosper while his former employer, Ole Miss, was dealing with probation and NCAA penalties incurred under Freeze’s watch.

The SEC established grounds for the commissioner to intervene in such cases. The conference bylaws state Sankey must be contacted for approval of the hire of any coach who “engaged in unethical conduct as defined under NCAA Bylaws or who has participated in activity that resulted, or may result, in a Level I, Level II or major infraction.”

Saban has praised Freeze heavily in the past — while at Ole Miss, Freeze scored two wins over Saban’s Crimson Tide — and said in January that Alabama was working to find a way to bring him on board.

Instead, Saban wound up promoting Mike Locksley to co-offensive coordinator and hired Penn State assistant coach Josh Gattis.

–Field Level Media

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