The Auburn Tigers have been drug through the ringer by the college football world following their recent hire of Hugh Freeze. Now, they’re under fire for a promotional graphic of the coach posted to social media.
The troubled leader left his last SEC stop with the program on probation. The Tigers are hoping that’s not the case in his tenure on the Plains.
While at Ole Miss, Freeze was dropped after being caught contacting escorts on school-issued cell phones. That, along with a number of recruiting violations, led to his demise in Oxford.
Following a brief stint away from coaching, Freeze landed the head gig at Liberty. Again, controversy found him as he was spotted DMing a victim in a sexual assault case against the university.
The past indiscretions have led many Auburn supporters to be hesitant of the hire. Despite uneasiness amid the fanbase, the Tigers’ athletic department appears to be trucking full steam ahead in their promotion of the coach. And it’s already backfiring.
Early in the week, Auburn’s social media team posted a graphic with an extremely tone-deaf message.
The tweet shows Hugh Freeze standing in his Auburn themed suit next to a quote that reads as follows:
“When your commitment to something is greater than your feelings, that’s when you really get the results.”
The message is meant to be inspirational, but it can essentially be read as, “Commit to Hugh Freeze regardless of your opinions about his tumultuous past so we can win football games.”
Fans quickly blasted the quote online.
Hugh and Auburn have come up with a more subtle way of saying "Fuck your feelings" https://t.co/Hlq8svnY4q
— David Fucillo (@davidfucillo) December 7, 2022
One fan said, “This can’t be real? Auburn hired a PR firm to assist with the optics of hiring Hugh Freeze and still decided to tweet this.”
Another person wrote, “This is an interesting choice of words Auburn,” while this fan asked, “Is this code for ‘deal with it?'”
Making things even more comical are seven tiny words posted at the bottom of the graphic that are meant to be a representation of the Auburn program under Hugh Freeze.
Faith. Attitude. Mental Toughness. Integrity. Love. You
The Tigers should probably be a bit more selective in their word choice with future Hugh Freeze marketing graphics.