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Hugh Freeze resigned as head football coach at the University of Mississippi Thursday night amid an investigation of his use of a university mobile phone, The Clarion-Ledger reported. The investigation followed a report by USA Today that he had used the phone to call a number affiliated with an escort service. That call was referenced in correspondence between the university and a lawyer for a former coach in the football program, USA Today reported.

At a press briefing Thursday night, university officials said that there was only one call to the number affiliated with the escort service and it was a short one, so officials originally assumed it was a wrong number. But then the university found more on the coach's phone. “In our analysis, we discovered a pattern of conduct that is not consistent with our expectations of the leader of our football program,” said Ross Bjork, the athletic director. “As of yesterday, there appeared to be a concerning pattern.”

Bjork said that if Freeze had not resigned, he would have been fired under a clause in his contract allowing dismissal for “moral turpitude.”