SEC discouraged Alabama from hiring Hugh Freeze

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Nick Saban had interest in Freeze as his offensive coordinator, but instead promoted from within the Crimson Tide's staff in January.

It's the primary reason why Saban, the highest-paid and most powerful coach in college football, couldn't add Freeze to his staff this offseason, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation who provided previously unreported details about Alabama's pursuit of the former Ole Miss head coach.

Shortly after that offer, however, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey reportedly told Freeze and Alabama that he wasn't on board with the move and would prefer Freeze remained off the radar for the time being.

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Per the report, Sankey told Alabama that hiring Freeze would be a bad look for the conference as a whole while his previous program, Ole Miss, suffered from NCAA penalties.

A year-old SEC bylaw also gives the commissioner some additional oversight into the university's hiring practices. This is a result of Freeze's dismissal from Ole Miss and the NCAA infractions that took place at the school while he was there.

The NCAA hit Ole Miss with sanctions in December following a lengthy investigation into the school under Freeze's watch. Freeze was given a two-game conference suspension in those findings, though it only applies if he's a head coach. The conference wants Freeze to go dark for a while and stay out of the spotlight.

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Freeze had no comment on the report when asked by CBS Sports. Winners don't care who they associate with as long as they're winning.

Freeze, who compiled a 39-25 record in five seasons in Oxford, has kept a relatively low profile since his July resignation but has expressed remorse in his few public appearances.

It appears that won't happen for Freeze in the SEC in 2018.

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