“Not thought out at all:” Lane Kiffin rips NIL implementation at SEC Media Days

Published 9:27 am Tuesday, July 19, 2022

ATLANTA — Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin did not mince words when asked about the implementation of name, image and likeness (NIL) rights for NCAA athletes, saying the system “is not thought out at all.”

Kiffin, who is entering his third season at the helm for the the Rebels, said the NCAA’s system regulating NIL rights has created adverse effects for coaches at major and minor programs across the country—adding that it has only increased the influence of money in recruiting.

“This is not thought out at all, in my opinion, and has created a massive set of issues which I think when people really thought about it, from a coach’s standpoint, could have predicted this was going to happen,” Kiffin said. “I said [from] day one, you legalize cheating, so get ready for the people that have the most money to get players. Now you have it. It is what it is.”

Kiffin compared the current system to Major League Baseball, saying teams with the highest payrolls will win more consistently over long periods of time.

He also said he believes coaches should play a bigger role in managing NIL deals, saying that a system where boosters have free reign to pay players however much they like is fundamentally flawed.

“If you have boosters out there deciding who they’re going to pay to come play, and the coach isn’t involved in it, how does that work? They could go pick who they want, pay him however much,” he said. “Are the boosters going to tell you who to play, too? When they don’t play, how is that going to work out?”

Kiffin added that he believes NIL spending at individual programs should be capped similar to a salary cap in professional sports. He said the current system will only continue to exacerbate the differences between the top and bottom programs in college football, which is why so many schools are flocking to the Big Ten and SEC—who have significantly larger TV deals.

“Everything obviously is about money nowadays or else teams wouldn’t be going with playing all over the place, breaking up these awesome traditions,” he said. “I think there’s so much tradition. When you go to places, you’ve been to USC, all these different places, you see how passionate fans are about certain things, what matters, rivalries. For those to be dismantled for money is kind of a shame.”