Lane Kiffin: “It doesn’t make sense” for coaches to not get vaccinated

Published 1:45 pm Thursday, August 26, 2021

One thing Lane Kiffin has been vocal about all through fall camp has been his stance on getting the COVID-19 vaccination and having the entire Ole Miss football program fully vaccinated entering the season.

With their season opener against Louisville 12 days away, one thing the program will not have to go through as they shift to game week preparation on Monday is having to get tested. With the team and staff 100 percent vaccinated, Kiffin stated during his press conference on Thursday that the team will not have to go through testing protocols prior to game days.

The topic of vaccination rates among teams across the country has become a bigger hot-button topic than it already has been with the 2021 college football season starting in earnest this weekend.

Last week, first-year Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 and has refused to reveal his vaccination status when asked previously. The Tigers were one of the programs with the lowest vaccination rates in the Southeastern Conference, but Harsin told reporters on Wednesday that he felt the program could get to the 85-percent threshold required to avoid having to undergo regular testing.

Kiffin doubled down own his reasoning for getting the vaccine and also provided his thoughts on coaches who choose not to get vaccinated.

“We’ve got our own issues, so I can just speak to why we did what we did, but I wouldn’t understand it. Everyone’s got their own reason why they do things,” Kiffin said. “I couldn’t go to our team, not get vaccinated and say, ‘Okay, we’re going to do all this work for a game.’ Also, what if you tested positive a couple days before the game? ‘Hey, sorry guys. Thanks for all your hard work. I won’t be there because I didn’t get vaccinated.'”

Prior to the start of fall camp earlier this month, Kiffin revealed the entire football program had a 100 percent vaccination rate. Ole Miss was the first football program to publicly announce they were fully vaccinated.

The possibility of games being forfeited if teams have to cancel a game due to a COVID-19 issue within the program has been mentioned by SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey and also discussed within the NFL. Last season, games that were not able to be played or rescheduled were deemed no-contests and did not affect a team’s win-loss record.

“I’m sure people are different, but that makes no sense to me as a leader of these guys,” Kiffin said. “Most of them didn’t know what to do and like I’ve said before, a lot of people don’t get (vaccinated) because they’re just lazy or selfish.”

Ole Miss and Louisville are set to kickoff at 7 p.m. CT at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sept. 6