Review shows Hugh Freeze made at least 12 calls to escort services

Former Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze used his university-issued cellphone to call numbers linked to erotic services dating back to at least 2014, records show.

A preliminary review of Freeze's phone records, obtained by ESPN through an open records request, revealed he dialed at least 12 numbers that are associated with online advertisements for female escorts. The calls took place over a 33-month period beginning in April 2014 and usually lasted two minutes or less.

The findings are consistent with what Ole Miss chancellor Jeffrey Vitter announced in July when he said Freeze resigned after confirming to him and athletic director Ross Bjork "a pattern of personal misconduct inconsistent with the standards we expect from the leader of our football team."

In a letter responding to ESPN's request for Freeze's phone records dated Aug. 2, Robert T. Jolly, an attorney for Ole Miss, explained that only records related to Freeze's business use are considered public records and will be released.

"Any personal calls having no relation to UM business are not public records," he wrote. "Personal calls will be clearly marked and redacted from the documents released."

Freeze was given the opportunity to identify calls that were private in nature, a source told ESPN.

The cellphone records provided by Ole Miss last week include about 39,000 calls dating back to December 2011. Roughly 20 percent of the calls had the phone number redacted but still included information like date, time and duration.

In July, Bjork told ESPN that university officials examined Freeze's phone records after being tipped off to the existence of a call to a number associated with an escort by the lawyer for former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who was preparing for a civil lawsuit against Ole Miss and Freeze.

That lawsuit, which alleged Freeze, Bjork and other Ole Miss officials violated his separation agreement by making incorrect statements about him during off-the-record conversations with media, was dismissed Aug. 9.

In six seasons under Freeze, Ole Miss compiled a 39-25 record, including a 19-21 mark in SEC play. The Rebels went 5-7 last season and are now led by Matt Luke, who was named interim coach after Freeze's resignation on July 20.