AL.com's Ainslie Lee doesn't believe the Auburn football locker room is nearly as close as Hugh Freeze would like to be -- referencing the Oxford, Mississippi native's viewpoint, and potential disconnect, with how Gen Z players operate.
"In that same answer, Freeze mentioned things like living in an era that means 'dating through Snapchat' and how he wishes players would 'hang up the headsets' and instead of playing video games after practice, go have real conversations with one another," Lee prefaced before saying, "It’s crystal-clear Auburn’s locker room isn’t a tight-knit and connected as Freeze would like. After Saturday’s loss to Maryland, when asked about the team’s disconnect, Freeze chalked it up to a disease he believes is plaguing society."
Freeze, following a wildly disappointing 31-13 dud from his Tigers in the 2023 Music City Bowl against Maryland, went into detail about the "disease of me."
“It’s just the disease of me -- I think that’s in a lot of areas of life now and we’re not exempt to it in our locker room,” Freeze said. “I think we’ve got to face it head-on.”
Auburn football personnel, and perhaps attitude, adjustments will define second year of Hugh Freeze era
2024 won't be the be-all, end-all season on the Plains 2025 will be if there isn't a two-win improvement this coming fall, but there needs to be tangible steps towards a top standing in the SEC for the sky not to be falling for one of college football's most passionate fanbases.
Freeze, as Lee references, has noted the culture changes, but evidently more is needed if the locker room is being called self-centered after the team's bowl game. Luckily, the loaded 2024 class is almost assuredly going to uplift the culture, with success being the expectation and talent and confidence being at a premium to help AU get there.
Freeze's first year inspired plenty of worry, but what he did to set the table for 2024 and beyond should ease it.