At SEC Media Days, Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin is direct with his comments, concerns regarding NIL
ATLANTA — Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin has been outspoken on the way Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals have begun to mold the shape of college football.
Kiffin had plenty to say about the controversial topic at the Ole Miss portion of SEC Media Days Monday, both on the main stage and in the private meeting with local beat writers.
While he supports players being compensated for their Name, Image and Likeness, the Rebels’ head coach believes there has to be some sort of control over schools on how they manage their NIL deals or there will be too large of a gap between big-money schools and others from a competitive standpoint.
“Like I’ve said, there’s no (salary) cap to it, there’s no blueprint of how to do things. Everybody is in totally different situations. I think people have tried to figure that out as it goes and it’s been a lot easier for people that have a lot of money. It’s been a lot more challenging for others and I think it’s going to, which it’s started to do, separate levels of football even further than they have been.”
Lane Kiffin on the challenges of NIL
Some of Kiffin’s most interesting remarks came after he was asked about what the coaches’ role should be in dealing with NIL.
“Look at what happens in professional sports,” he said.
“There’s salary caps and the coach and the general manager/owner manages that. If you have boosters deciding who they are gonna pay to come play and the coach isn’t involved in it, how does that work? They just pick who they want and tell you who to play? And when they don’t play, how is that going to work out? This has not been thought out at all in my opinion and it has created a massive set of issues.”
Lane Kiffin on NIL ramifications
Kiffin makes a great point with that statement. If boosters can’t work with coaches when dealing with NIL, then that won’t work out well for anyone. Also, what is going to happen if these athletes who are signing multi-million dollar NIL deals don’t have the success they were projected to have? Will it hurt future athletes’ chances of signing large deals if big-money boosters are dissatisfied?
These are some really interesting topics to which Kiffin continues to bring attention. Although most of his comments are directed toward more of a national conversation, some of his thoughts on the matter could be a message of which the Ole Miss athletic department should take note.
“I think it will have a lot to do with your donor base,” said Kiffin. “There are different payrolls all over the place. If you take all variables in sports, take anything you want, stadium size, all that stuff, I promise you payroll over a long period of time wins out so I’m sure that will happen.”
With NIL deals becoming increasingly important, how does that affect athletic departments when it comes to decisions about monies spent on facilities? It’s a question many schools will have to try to answer, and it will be interesting to see what happens with facility upgrade projects like the ones announced for Ole Miss back in December of 2021 if there is no control over NIL.
At SEC Media Days, Coach Kiffin once again used his platform to speak out about the problems associated with NIL, and as long as no changes are made, one can expect him to continue to do so in the future. The only question is if the NCAA will answer and try to formulate some sort of rule book for NIL, or will they continue to let it play out the way that it has been?
(Feature image credit: Evie Van Pelt, The Rebel Walk)
Dillon is from Yazoo City, Ms. He is a senior journalism major pursuing a career in sportswriting. He grew up an Ole Miss fan and has always followed Ole Miss sports as well as the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Braves. He played football and basketball in high school and enjoys spending time with friends and family.