Michael Oher’s coach at Ole Miss in the early 2000s, Hugh Freeze, praised the Tuohy family for getting in the “arena” and helping Oher when he was homeless. Freeze called the Tuohy’s actions “admirable.”
Freeze, currently the head coach at Auburn University, told the Auburn Observer that he “loved” both the Tuohys and Michael Oher but lauded the family for helping a young man in trouble.
“I love Michael Oher. He’s like part of our family. I love the Tuohys,” Freeze told the Observer. “I think it’s sad, and I certainly don’t claim to understand all the ins and outs of adoption, conservatory, all of that. But I know what I witnessed, and I witnessed a family that totally took in a young man. And I think without that, there is no story.
“I think it will all…whatever happens will happen, of course,” Freeze continued. “The facts will come out. But, you know, I love both sides of it. Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy did something that most families . . . . A lot of us talk about doing things, but they actually put the shoes on and pulled the boots up and got in the arena and did something. I think that’s admirable.”
Oher made headlines Monday when he filed a suit against the family seeking the end of the conservatorship the Tuohys set up for him in 2004. Oher claims that the family falsely represented their intentions to make him a member of the family and, instead of adopting him, entered into a conservatorship that is typically used for the mentally or physically disabled.
The conservatorship also gave the Tuohys control over Oher’s ability to enter into contracts or business arrangements. In the business arrangement pertaining to the movie The Blind Side, based on a book inspired by his life story, Oher claims he received no money.
The Tuohy’s attorney, Randall Fishman, counters that claim by saying that the family -including Oher – received $100,000 each from the film and that his clients paid the taxes on Oher’s share.
In addition, Fishman claims that Oher references the conservatorship the Tuohys established for him three times in his 2011 book, “I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness to the Blindside and Beyond.”
Fishman believes this proves that Oher was fully aware of his legal arrangement with the Tuohys and his role in it.
Oher claims he was told that the conservatorship was only established because he was over 18 and that the family intended to adopt him.