Good morning and welcome to another edition of Wake Up With Whitty. We’re coming to the end of one of the low-key greatest weeks of the year. Wednesday was National Hot Dog Day and Friday was National Junk Food Day. Holy hell, what a glorious time to be alive. I’m probably going to have heartburn for the next three weeks now, which is just the body’s way of reminding you that you’re living life to the fullest. Or fattest, I forget which. So if you celebrated these glorious holidays as hard as I did, pop some Tums and enjoy this edition of Wake Up With Whitty.
Freeze out at Ole Miss
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday night amid reports that he had used a University-issued phone to call an escort service. The news was a shock for a program that had started to find some success recently with several big wins over conference foe Alabama and several recent 1st round draft picks. One of those draft picks, Laremy Tunsil, was the center of some controversy on draft night last year that contributed to an NCAA investigation into multiple rules infractions under Freeze. The school self-imposed a post season ban for this year and forfeited multiple scholarships, but further sanctions could be in store once the NCAA finishes its investigation. That combined with Freeze’s departure is likely to impact the team for years to come. The fallout has already begun, as one member of the school’s 2019 recruiting class has already decommitted.
Freeze’s biggest mistake here was accepting responsibility. He should have taken a page out of Rick Pitino’s book and said the escorts were for recruits and he had no idea any of it was going on. He’d probably still have his job right now. I’m sure he’ll land another coaching job someday, but this is a bad look for Freeze and it’s likely going to set Ole Miss back, at least in the short term.
Zeke in Hot Water…Again
Ezekiel Elliott is coming off of a phenomenal rookie campaign in Dallas and he’s poised to have long, prolific career if he can stay healthy and keep out of trouble. Lately it seems like that last one may be a bit of a problem. Zeke recently made the news after being involved in an altercation at a Dallas bar on Sunday night. Elliott allegedly knocked out a DJ in the altercation, but Dallas police have suspended the investigation due to inability to contact the victim and lack of cooperation from witnesses. As an Ohio State fan (and concerned fantasy football owner) I’d like to think that this means the former Buckeye is innocent of any wrongdoing, but I realize it’s equally likely that Jerry Jones reached out with his checkbook to make this all go away.
Just because Zeke likely won’t face any legal ramifications from this recent incident doesn’t mean the NFL won’t take it into consideration. Zeke is currently under investigation by the NFL for a 2016 domestic violence accusation and it’s expected that he’ll face a 1-2 game suspension as a result. This certainly doesn’t help his case, and neither does the 100 mph speeding ticket he’s currently fighting or the incident from earlier in the year where he was caught pulling a woman’s shirt down at a St. Patrick’s Day party. Zeke is in incredibly talented player but if he doesn’t get his off-the-field behavior in check he may never live up to his full potential.
Trouble in Paradise?
Kyrie Irving has requested a trade out of Cleveland. The Cavs point guard reportedly wants to get away from Lebron and is looking to find a team where he can play a larger role in the offense. I’m sure this isn’t the first time somebody that thought the world was flat has tried to get away from a King James. The teams on Irving’s list of approved destinations include San Antonio, New York, Minnesota and Miami. Personally, I think the Spurs would be a good fit. That organization had found success without having to rely on the big name superstars (even guys like Tim Duncan didn’t fit the typical “superstar” profile from a personality/ego standpoint). Playing in San Antonio would give Kyrie the chance to play a prominent role on a team without being overshadowed by a bigger name.
I think this is the problem with the Super Team concept though. If not everyone buys in, or one guy thinks he’s bigger than the rest of the team, then feelings get hurt, egos get in the way, and the whole thing breaks down. The general consensus before the Kyrie Irving news seemed to be that Lebron was out of Cleveland come 2018. I think this all but seals that fate for Cleveland, unless Lebron can convince some more of his buddies to join the Cavs. Somehow I don’t see that happening though.
Thank you for joining me for another Wake Up With Whitty. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think. If you like what we have going on here on at Milliron Sports then be sure to check out our new podcast: The Nati Boys. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. You can find us on iTunes and SoundCloud. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review!