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Hugh Freeze says he won't fire assistants in wake of NCAA recruiting violations

Hugh Freeze

Ole Miss finally dumped its long-awaited response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations on Friday, nestled sweetly between Baylor's firing of Art Briles and Memorial Day weekend, and the result for the Rebels was a mixed bag. Of the 28 total violations, 13 were related to football and nine of those came under Hugh Freeze's watch -- but none as serious as the four under the Houston Nutt regime.

While the NCAA's justice system is just beginning to turn its wheels, Freeze said Monday he takes responsibility and would fire any staff member who knowingly broke NCAA rules.

"The first thing I would say is that I own it. That's part of it when you're the head coach. You take the good with the bad," Freeze told ESPN's Chris Low from the SEC's spring meetings in Sandestin, Fla. "But there's a big difference between making mistakes in recruiting and going out there with the intent to cheat. I don't have any information that anybody on my staff has been involved in any illegal payments to players or offering any inducements to players, and if I did have that information, I would fire them."

However, Freeze is confident he won't have to do that because, he says, any rules broken were broken by mistake.

"We're not going to terminate a guy who makes a mistake and didn't have any intent to go out and cheat," Freeze said. "There is no charge in these allegations of a staff member being involved in a payment or offering extra benefits. There's none of that in there."