Freeze defends former assistant Siskey

OleMissLogoBy Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze called Tyler Siskey “a good man” and credited the preparation of Alabama coach Nick Saban as the main factor in the Rebels’ first shutout loss in 15 years.

Siskey, an administrative recruiting assistant for Freeze last year, joined Saban’s staff in the offseason. He’s associate director of player personnel at Alabama.

In spite of those two benign job titles, Siskey exploded into the consciousness of many Ole Miss fans when he was seen on ESPN on Saturday night in the press box booth with Crimson Tide coaches watching the game through binoculars.

The game-day location of Siskey, an Anniston, Ala., native, would not be an NCAA violation unless he took on duties similar to an on-field coach.

Analyst Todd Blackledge said this to the ESPN audience during the game regarding Siskey: “Even though he wasn’t coaching on the field, he was very involved this week in helping to prepare the Alabama defense.”

Eye in the sky

Alabama coach Nick Saban told reporters on Monday that Siskey has been in the press box on game day all season.

“He didn’t really assist in the game plan,” Saban said. “He wasn’t on the headset, didn’t talk to anybody during the game.”

Freeze said he has not been in contact with the SEC regarding the matter. “I don’t know what he exactly did,” he said.

Siskey was the wide receivers coach at Arkansas State for four years, the last two with Freeze, who was offensive coordinator in Jonesboro in 2010 and the head coach in 2011.

“Alabama had a wonderful defensive plan for us, and I give them a lot of credit for the work that they put in,” Freeze said.

The Tide held the Rebels to 205 total yards.

“Tyler Siskey’s a good man. I hate that it’s been quite the drama,” Freeze said. “Did I feel like they had an excellent plan? For whatever reason, I did. I’m ready to move on to Auburn.”

parrish.alford@Journalinc.com