The Blind Side: Michael Oher’s Former Football Coach Says He Knows What He "Witnessed" With Tuohys

The Blind Side subject Michael Oher’s football coach Hugh Freeze reacted to the athlete's legal petition against The Blind Side's Tuohy family, saying, "I know what I witnessed."

By Lindsay Weinberg Aug 18, 2023 9:06 PMTags
Watch: The Tuohy Family to End Michael Oher's Conservatorship

Michael Oher's former football coach is weighing in on his "sad" family feud.

Coach Hugh Freeze told The Athletic Aug. 17 that he thinks the "facts will come out" after Oher filed a legal petition claiming Memphis couple Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy lied about adopting him and actually became his conservators after he turned 18. Oher, a retired NFL player, alleged the Tuohy family profited off of his life story through the 2009 movie The Blind Side, per the documents obtained by E! News. 

Freeze—who worked with Oher as the coach at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis and then as assistant coach at Ole Miss—noted, "I think it's sad."

"I certainly don't claim to understand all the ins and outs of adoption, conservatory, all of that. I know what I witnessed," he continued. "I witnessed a family that totally took in a young man and I think without that, there is no story."

In response to the lawsuit, Sean Tuohy told the Daily Memphian Aug. 14 he was "devastated" by the allegations, adding, "It's upsetting to think we would make money off any of our children." 

Celebrity Football Fans

He said the only funds they made from The Blind Side came from original book author Michael Lewis, who "gave us half of his share" after selling the film rights to his book.

"Everybody in the family got an equal share, including Michael. It was about $14,000, each," Sean said. "We were never offered money; we never asked for money." 

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris/VF1/WireImage

Since the filing, the family has shared their plans to voluntarily terminate Oher's conservatorship after nearly 20 years.

Yet, their lawyer Marty Singer also blasted the athlete's claims about financial gain as "absurd" and "transparently ridiculous."

"The Tuohys opened their home to Mr. Oher, offered him structure, support and, most of all, unconditional love," he said. "They have consistently treated him like a son and one of their three children."


Oher, who is now 37 and married with four children, expressed in a statement that he was "disheartened by the revelation shared in the lawsuit," alleging in the filing he only learned in February 2023 that agreeing to the conservatorship back in 2004 did not give him familial ties to the Tuohys.

"This is a difficult situation for my family and me," Oher said in a statement to E! News through his attorney Aug. 15. "I want to ask everyone to please respect our privacy at this time. For now, I will let the lawsuit speak for itself and will offer no further comment."

See photos of The Blind Side inspiration Michael Oher and the Tuohy family below.

The Blind Side Premiere

Collins Tuohy, Sean Tuohy Jr., Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy got dressed up for the 2009 New York premiere of The Blind Side, the movie based on their life with adoptive son Michael Oher, who became a pro football player.

Oscars Night

The longtime couple walked the red carpet at the 2010 Academy Awards in Los Angeles in honor of The Blind Side, which earned actress Sandra Bullock an Oscar that year for playing Leigh Anne.

The View Appearance

Michael Oher promoted his book I Beat the Odds on The View in 2011.

Real-Life Inspiration

Sandra Bullock posed with Leigh Anne, who she played onscreen, at a Blind Side benefit event in New Orleans in 2009.

The Heat Premiere

Sean, Leigh Anne and Collins attended the movie's New York premiere in 2013.

Wedding Day

Michael tied the knot with Tiffany Roy in November 2022. "Filled with joy, can't believe people took their time and came to celebrate!" the former NFL player captioned a photo of the ceremony. "My beautiful wife, I love you so much, thank you for blessing me with our family! Easily the best single weekend I've ever been apart of." 

CMT Music Awards

Leigh Anne and and Sean brought daughter Collins to the 2010 CMT Music Awards, where Carrie Underwood was a big winner.

The Trio Together

The group posed for a photo at the Nashville event.

Legacy Lives On

Oher stopped by the Walk of Champions at Ole Miss in April 2023. "Glad to see my name's still there," he wrote. "Class of ‘09, represent (‘08 football season). I got to take a tour of the new facilities under construction."


Collins' Date Night

The marketing expert shared a photo with her husband Cannon Smith at the Old Florida Fish House
in July 2023. "Sweaty faces and full hearts," Collins wrote on social media. "It's a hot one down here, but we are having the best time. This restaurant is an oldie but goodie. We always eat here at least once. Best sushi."


New York Interview

Michael stopped by SiriusXM Studios in NYC on Aug. 9, 2023. 

Mom-Daughter Moment

"Always know football season is right around the corner when it hits LAT's birthday," Collins wrote on Instagram in August 2023 alongside a throwback photo. "Today is the day… Happy Birthday Mom!! Love you!"

Family Photo

The football pro shared a pic with his loved ones in March 2023, writing, "Life is Beautiful‼️#family #life #growth."

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner After-Party

The pair, who got married in 1982, went to an after-party hosted by Bloomberg and Vanity Fair party following the 2010 White House Correspondents dinner in Washington, DC.

Book Release

Michael geared up for the release of his book When Your Back's Against the Wall in August 2023.