Mississippi athletic director Keith Carter and head football coach Lane Kiffin apologized Saturday afternoon for tweets from the Ole Miss football Twitter account that were directed at Liberty University football coach Hugh Freeze. The tweets were later deleted.
“These tweets were unfortunate and not who we are in Ole Miss athletics,” Carter said to ESPN. “When I found out about them, they were immediately taken down. I have spoken with (Liberty athletic director) Ian McCaw to relay my sincere apology. We will work to do better in the future.”
Kiffin said to ESPN that he didn’t know about the tweets until after his postgame press conference.
“I have no affiliation with the Ole Miss football Twitter site, even though it may sound strange, and I first learned about the tweets after my press conference when Keith Carter told me about them,” Kiffin said to ESPN. “I’m completely embarrassed that anyone would put something out there like that making it look like it was a part of Ole Miss football. It was extremely disrespectful, bush league and classless, and I apologize, even though I had nothing to do with it, to Liberty and Hugh Freeze.”
Ole Miss defeated Liberty 27-14 on Saturday. It was Freeze’s first game in Oxford since he was the Rebels’ head coach from 2012-16.
One of the deleted Ole Miss tweets mocked a 2013 tweet by Freeze regarding NCAA compliance. Another tweet showed a photo of Freeze coaching a Liberty football game against Syracuse from a hospital bed in 2019.
Freeze had high praise for the reception he received Saturday in his return to Ole Miss.
“Just first I want to say to the Ole Miss people, thank you for your kindness to me and my family,” Freeze said. “It couldn’t have gone any better from that regard. Obviously, I don’t like losing and wish we had a chance to win at the end, but as far as the reception from the Ole Miss people last night at the hotel in Tupelo when we arrived or when we’re walking into (the locker room) at halftime, I felt they were just incredibly kind. It’s an answered prayer for Jill and I.”
Freeze has been the Liberty University head coach since 2019.
Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Lane Kiffin, AD apologize to Liberty’s Hugh Freeze for Ole Miss tweets