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Freeze alert: Could Tennessee give Hugh his second chance?

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Is it time for a second chance?

Adam Hagy- USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers saw their 2018 football season come to a conclusion Saturday evening following a fairly lopsided loss to their rival, the Vanderbilt Commodores. Before the game clock ever hit 0:00 many Tennessee fans already had the vaunted “VolTwitter” blasting in full effect. A large number of those disgruntled Vol fans were calling for offensive coordinator Tyson Helton to be fired immediately—and well, we have learned, especially within the last year, just how convincing they can be.

After just a day and a half of trying to figure out what the real situation may be, Coach Helton helped Tennessee make the decision a lot easier by accepting the position of head coach at Western Kentucky University. Helton has previous experience as an offensive coordinator for the Hilltoppers, as he served as just that from 2014-2015. This familiarity along with possibly seeing the writing on the wall may have been enough for Helton to make his decision before the situation became no longer in his control.

Nonetheless, the Vols will be launching a search for another offensive coordinator. Early on, many names appear to be floating around the rumor mill. The current Tennessee fan favorite for calling plays next year in Knoxville—Hugh Freeze.

While Freeze has proven to be a solid coach and possess the ability to conduct a high powered offense, he would come with quite a bit of baggage as well. Freeze was relieved of his job at Ole Miss on July 20, 2017, after an NCAA investigation turned up numerous major violations in the football program and resulted in a 2017 postseason ban.

Aside from the 21 charges of academic, recruiting, and booster misconduct, Freeze was also found to have used a university issued cell phone to make a 1-minute call to an escort service. Upon this discovery, the university researched further into the phone records where they found an alarming pattern. Faced with the option to resign or be fired, Freeze chose to resign. Many believe these charges against Freeze should encourage Coach Jeremy Pruitt to look elsewhere for a new offensive coordinator; however, it seems like just as many fans would like to see that be Pruitt’s first choice despite previous infractions.

This presents Coach Pruitt with a tough decision in the days and weeks to come. With many other names already rising in the rumor mill, it will be interesting to see what choice he makes as he looks to get things turned around heading in to his second season as the Vols head coach.

As the old adage goes, everyone deserves a second chance. Will Hugh Freeze see his second chance come to fruition in Knoxville?

According to Nashville radio host Darren McFarland, he may just be where this search begins.

Who else could be on the board for Tennessee? Check out our list here.