As Auburn continues to search for its next head football coach, Hugh Freeze is expected to be the school’s top target after Lane Kiffin declined the Tigers’ offer. Before the SEC West university moves forward with Freeze, an alleged victim of sexual assault at Liberty is asking it to consider her concerns.
Chelsea Andrews sent the following email to Auburn University administrators:
The email comes in direct response to her claims that Freeze sent her unsolicited messages on Twitter. It also corresponds with an ongoing investigation into Liberty University, Freeze’s current employer.
Hugh Freeze has a questionable history.
Freeze, 53, resigned from his job as the head football coach at the University of Mississippi in July of 2017. His resignation came after an investigation by chancellor Jeff Vitter and athletic director Ross Bjork. It surrounded a ‘concerning pattern’ of calls to a phone number associated with a female escort service.
Hugh Freeze was hired as the head football coach at Liberty University on December 7, 2018, 17 months later. The hiring process was led by athletic director Ian McCaw.
Before taking over as AD at Liberty in November of 2016, McCaw held the same role at Baylor. After three years with the Baptist Christian research university in Waco, he resigned from his post in May of 2016 in wake of a sexual assault scandal.
The scandal surrounded multiple allegations of, and convictions for sexual and non-sexual assaults that were committed by Baylor students. Many of the students were on the football team.
Baylor commissioned law firm Pepper Hamilton to conduct an independent, external investigation regarding the school’s handling of sexual violence. It found that Baylor University officials failed to take action on the alleged rape and assaults.
Head football coach Art Briles was ousted as result of the investigation. Baylor president Ken Starr was demoted and eventually resigned. McCaw later resigned as well.
Ian McCaw became the athletic director at Liberty University on November 28, 2016.
Two years into McCaw’s tenure, he hired Hugh Freeze to take over the football program. While at Liberty, as was the case during his time at Ole Miss, Freeze often responds, replies, or reaches out to people via direct message on Twitter.
A message that Andrews claims she received from Hugh Freeze back in July is peculiar.
Liberty University is currently under federal investigation by the Department of Education for sexual assault coverups. It stems from a significant lawsuit against the school that accused officials of mishandling allegations of sexual assault and claimed that the religious university’s strict policies made sexual assault and rape more likely.
Andrews, originally known as ‘Jane Doe 7’ in the lawsuit, has been very vocal about her alleged experience with sexual assault at Liberty. She is not alone.
Andrews also spoke out in an interview with Inside Edition last November.
As one of the women who have gone on record about her allegations against Liberty, Andrews is at the forefront of the conversation. That led to what she claims was multiple messages from Hugh Freeze on Twitter.
In one message that Andrews shared online in July, Freeze appeared to call McCaw “the most Jesus like leader…”
Andrews did not share other messages from Freeze, but claims that there have been more than one. Each time that Freeze reached out, she says, the message was unsolicited.
Now, almost five months later, Auburn is targeting Hugh Freeze as its next head football coach.
As the university continues with the hiring process, Andrews would like Auburn officials to consider Freeze’s history and current ongoings at Liberty.
“Reminder for Auburn Football, Auburn University and athletic director John Cohen,” she wrote on Twitter. “Liberty University is currently being investigated by the Department of Education’s Clery Group for sexual assault coverups. There’s literally a federal investigation going on. That’s where you want to hire a coach from..?”
Andrews also emailed Cohen, President Jay Gogue, Executive Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator Djenane Paul and Chief Operating Officer Marcy Girton. In the email, she reminded them of the DOE investigation and shared her concerns as a “victimized alumna” of Liberty University.