Manning defends program’s rise, Freeze’s integrity

We covered a lot of topics with Archie Manning in a rare, casual sit-down interview yesterday.

The Super Bowl and his sons were a big topic, but I also asked about his thoughts on the NCAA investigation.

Manning was co-chair of the committee that recommended the hiring of Hugh Freeze and has always talked about Freeze’s meticulous preparation for that interview — and about his integrity.

Integrity is how he ended his response to the NCAA subject. The question was should Ole Miss expect to be able to recruit at the level that it has under Freeze?

“We can because we’ve got a great head coach who’s a good recruiter, and he’s got a staff … they feed off each other. Their concept is selling Ole Miss, selling the program, maybe do something a little bit different than what everybody else has been doing. It’s been good. People come here and experience game day and campus life, and kids want to come. That’s the truth of the matter. There is always jealousy involved when you have such success. People say, ‘You’re doing this, doing that.’ I know there’s stuff going on. Some of it comes on Hugh. I think we’ve already been punished for our tackle last year, I believe we have. You almost say it comes with the territory. I know of the integrity of Hugh Freeze. That’s my only answer. That’s what I know.”

Here’s our story.


Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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