Hey, you wanna hear something really funny?
A year or so ago, Hugh Freeze resigned from his position as coach of the Ole Miss football program because it became apparent that he was a dude who liked to hire escorts. Everyone found out because he was subjected to a FOIA request on account of civil litigation filed by Houston Nutt, Ole Miss’s previous coach, who was suing Freeze for defamation since Hugh blamed Nutt for recruiting violations the program was getting hit with at the time. The FOIA brought up his phone records at Ole Miss, a public university subject to public information filings, and found that Freeze had used university phones to hire prostitutes.
Freeze, an evangelical whose public image is predicated on his presentation of himself as a paragon of American Christian Morality, told ESPN that “People dial wrong numbers all the time.” He resigned a week later.
Now, far be it from me to harsh on Freeze for hiring sex workers: prostitution should be legal and regulated and safe, its continued existence as an underground commodity puts workers and clients at risk every day, and if he’s a horny guy who likes to pay for it, that’s totally fine by me. But the fact of the matter is that Freeze is operating on a double standard, advocating for a political and ideological tradition that is A-OK with every form of vice regulation imaginable—regulations that disproportionately oppress the poor—while he gets to pay for it mostly without consequence, presuming, of course, he isn’t so damn stupid as to use his work phone to make the arrangements.
But then again, he’s probably the the best possible representative for his tribe, considering what they’ve been getting up to lately.
Today it was announced that Freeze would be leaving his offensive coordinator position with the Arizona Hotshots of the American Alliance of Football to head up the football program at Liberty University. Liberty, for those who aren’t familiar, is a kind of Official School of the Religious Right in America. Founded by Jerry Falwell, a toad-like puddle of hate, in 1971, the university has ballooned in size since Falwell died and his mantle was taken up by Jerry Jr., his equally loathsome son.
Falwell supported Ted Cruz in the primary at first (Cruz announced his candidacy at Liberty, as it happens), but when his plan of supporting the yuckiest dude imaginable for higher political office didn’t quite work out, Falwell quickly switched gears and publicly endorsed Trump:
White evangelicals voted for Trump in droves, at the primary and general levels. This might seem a little strange, considering that Donald is a twice-divorced accused sex criminal who fucks porn stars, but you gotta understand something about these people: they are not really concerned with ethics or morality, at least when they’re not chiding teenagers who get abortions or fretting about there being too many homosexuals on television. They are beyond all that shit. They are, instead, a constituency of Americans obsessed with doing everything they can to make the first country in history explicitly founded as a secular institution a refuge for white Christians—be it waging insane wars against Muslims, keeping refugees out, stripping people of their voting rights, warping school curriculums to retell the story of America as a parable of Christian values, you name it.
Falwell and Liberty plainly don’t give a damn about Freeze—or anyone’s—actual personal ethics, weather he is “a good man” or any crap like that. They are significantly more concerned with the advance of their cause, which is the maintenance of a Christian ethnostate in America. Won’t take my word for it? How about his:
So what if Freeze was knee-deep in prostitutes a year ago? He can recruit and coach a successful BCS program, and that will bring in cash and help put Liberty on the map as a national institution, giving them the opportunity to train the next generation of freaks who will flood statehouses and rant and rail and gerrymander Republicans into power for as long as humanly possible. Hell, it’s not even the first time Liberty’s sports department has hired a dude who was ousted from his last job in a cloud of malfeasance: Ian McCaw, their Athletic Director, was forced to resign from Baylor after it turned out the football program under his administration was covering up sexual assaults.
At his teary introductory press conference, Freeze claimed that Jesus Christ “is the only one I’ve ever met who can handle my junk.” That certainly appears to be the case, though maybe not quite in the way he means it. In hiring McCaw and Freeze, and whatever other dregs of the NCAA establishment they hire, and saying whatever they need to about whoever they need to in pursuit of getting enthomaniacs into positions of power, Fallwell Jr. and Liberty University are sending a message, loud and clear, to everyone who has washed out of mainstream society on account of moral and ethical malfeasance: you are welcome here, so long as you can help us make the world a shittier, less hospitable, less tolerant and more violent place.