July 13, 2017 15:36 GMT by cbssports.com

Q&A: Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze talks NCAA investigation, Houston Nutt lawsuit

The Ole Miss coach discusses the firestorm surrounding the Rebel program

HOOVER, Ala. -- The final round of the 2017 SEC Media Days is loaded with fireworks, and Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze provided the spark.

Freeze made the rounds one day after news broke of a lawsuit filed in federal court by former coach Houston Nutt. That lawsuit alleges Freeze and the Ole Miss administrated orchestrated a smear campaign that placed the majority of the blame for the program's ongoing NCAA investigation on Nutt and staff.

Freeze spoke exclusively with CBS Sports on Thursday morning, hours before taking the big stage.

CBS: What's your reaction to the lawsuit?

Freeze: "Disappointed in the time that it came out for sure. I have great respect for Houston but can't comment on it because it is a legal matter. I have my opinions, but I just can't comment on the case."

CBS: Do you have contingency plans in place in case you do get suspended, because that is obviously a possibility based on the allegations?

Freeze: "No. I'm not going to let myself go there. We're looking forward to our day in front of the Committee on Infractions and for a fair judgement, and to move forward from there."

CBS: Are you concerned about what that outcome will be?

Freeze: "I'm not concerned right now. I'm not made to worry about things that far that are out of my control. I've learned one thing through all of this: I can't control a lot of things. I can control how I'm approaching the important things to me -- my family, my kids, our players, the Ole Miss family, and how I go about doing my job for them."

CBS: When it comes to the case itself, do you hold any animosity or ill will toward Houston Nutt, and what are your feelings toward him as a person?

Freeze: "I don't. I haven't talked to him in forever. I have great respect for him, and I have great respect for all of the coaches in this profession. I really do. You know, I'm not a fan of when it came out. But no, I'm not made to hold a lot of animosity. I don't think that's good for you."

CBS: Do you have any idea, or did you know, if he holds a vendetta against you, and where it would come from?

Freeze: "You'd have to ask him that."

CBS: How frustrating is this for you?

Freeze: "The frustrating part to me is that I don't get to talk about our players. They're the ones who deserve this, and they've handled it better than anybody. This is like the fifth year in a row I've come here and can't talk about our players, which is frustrating because they've handled it beautifully and have been a great encouragement to me. I just wish they could get their just due."

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