A Starkville Strip Club Is Paying Tribute To Former Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze

Getty Image

Hugh Freeze resigned as the head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels on the heels of information that he used a university-issued phone to call an escort service. While that was far from the only alleged transgression of the Freeze era during his tenure in Oxford, it served as something of a final straw, and now, the embattled former head coach is back in the news because of a connection (albeit one he did not make directly) with a Mississippi strip club.

In short, a strip club near Starkville called The Pony will be hosting a “Hugh Freeze Tribute Party.”

For those unfamiliar with college sports in Mississippi, Starkville is the home of Mississippi State University, and the owner of the club, Jerry Westlund, is a self-professed fan of the Bulldogs. In an interview with Dan Wolken of USA TODAY Sports, Westlund expressed anything but positivity toward Freeze and explained the rationale behind the themed party.

“Hugh Freeze was a piece of work to me because he banned his players from coming to my clubs. He banned them from going to strip clubs. I’m like, I’m sorry at 18 years old you can serve your country. We can give you a gun and send you to a Godforsaken place like Afghanistan, but Hugh Freeze decided they weren’t mature enough to come to a strip club so as the ultimate hypocrite, it’s only appropriate we’d have the Hugh Freeze tribute party.”

Westlund’s sentiment about Freeze’s ban is likely one shared by others, but it brings a special amount of fervor given that the strip club owner referenced “ringing the bell” in an homage to Mississippi State, rather than the program’s rival in Ole Miss.

“We’ll be ringing the bell in tribute to Hugh and wish him nothing but the best as he seeks to further his coaching career at some community college in the Pacific Northwest.”

This seems to be a story that wouldn’t happen anywhere, and in reading the full interview with Westlund, it is clear that he is an entertaining (and irreverent) character. At the end of the day, though, Freeze will be the focal point of more and more barbs from Starkville and around the SEC given the nature of his exit from Ole Miss, and this is just the beginning.

(USA TODAY Sports)