Auburn's decision to hire Hugh Freeze came with backlash.
Sure, Freeze has won plenty of football games, some of which came against SEC foes, but his shady off-the-field past at both Ole Miss and Liberty has given several Auburn fans plenty of concern regarding Freeze.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was in the first full year of his current role when Freeze resigned in 2016 from Ole Miss after an investigation found evidence of a "pattern of personal misconduct." He shared Thursday during a press conference ahead of Saturday's SEC Championship Game in Atlanta that he has had a conversation with Freeze since his hiring at Auburn. Sankey did not reveal specifics to the conversation but feels that Freeze's new opportunity will give him an opportunity to wipe his slate clean.
"I look from this point forward. We're informed by people's pasts. Hugh and I actually had an individual phone call earlier today, very positive," Sankey said Thursday. "That's not the first phone call he and I have had in the last five years. I appreciated the way he responded during his press conference. And I respect the fact that he and I, over the succeeding years since his departure from Ole Miss, could have candid and honest conversation."
Sankey says that he welcomes Freeze back to the SEC, and believes that he has had opportunities to leave his past behind him.
"He's now the head coach at Auburn University. I wish them well, there's a lot of work to do," Sankey said. "And he kind of brought me up to speed on some of that this morning. And I'm confident there's been plenty of opportunities for learning over the years and look forward to working with Hugh again."
Freeze was hired by Auburn on Nov. 28 to replace Bryan Harsin, who posted a 9-12 record over a season and a half on the Plains.
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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire