Earlier this week a report emerged that SEC commissioner Greg Sankey blocked at least five member schools from hiring former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze. Alabama reportedly wanted Freeze to join the staff as co-offensive coordinator — a role eventually filled by luring Josh Gattis away from Penn State — and that LSU and Missouri were interested in hiring Freeze as an offensive coordinator.

Nick Saban was at a charity fundraiser in Mobile and was asked about the report. Here’s what he said, via AL.com:

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Hugh Freeze as a coach. I think he did a fabulous job when he was at Ole Miss. He has been a friend that I’ve shared ideas with and spent time with and know his family, as Miss Terry does know his family. So we have a tremendous amount of respect for him. We also have a lot of respect for the SEC and what they think is, in some cases, best for the league relative to circumstances that people created for themselves.

“But I have a lot of respect for Hugh, and I think he’ll be back in our profession, and we wish him and his family the very best, and if we can do anything to help him, we’ll be happy to do that.”

Saban’s comments confirm without confirming that, yes, Alabama was interested in hiring Freeze but the SEC indeed blocked the move. This saga also shows that Freeze will likely be back in the game at a high level sooner rather than later.