Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze took issue with what he called a lack of “proper journalism,” and said the truth in what happened on campus Tuesday night should be good enough for most recruits.
A university news release on Wednesday said that a student demonstration against the re-election of President Barack Obama included racial slurs.
What began with 30-40 students grew to the point that campus police were called to break up things. The crowd dispersed but regrouped, and that’s when one person was charged with public intoxication and another with failure to comply with police orders, the release said. No injuries or property damage were reported.
The term “riots” was used to describe the event by some news outlets.
“In the thirty or so kids that gathered to do whatever they were going to call that, which by the way happened at a lot of places across the nation and not just at Ole Miss,” Freeze said. “I’m very disappointed in our local media that took it upon themselves to run with it and make it into something it wasn’t. We are our own worst enemy when we do those kinds of things. It’s not, in my opinion, proper journalism, and that’s frustrating.”
Freeze addressed the disturbance following the Rebels’ practice Wednesday. Later in the evening an estimated crowd of 700 attended a candlelight vigil outside the Lyceum, the school’s administration building, calling for racial harmony.
Ole Miss coaches have long dealt with recruiting tactics by opponents that focused on the school’s history with race issues going back to the forced enrollment of James Meredith, its first black student, 50 years ago this semester.
Freeze said the event did not make an immediate negative impact on his 2013 recruiting class that is currently ranked No. 22 by Scout.com.
“We just put out the truth. Normally the truth is good enough for most people,” he said.