Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach Join Coaches and Administrators to Lobby State Flag Change
On Thursday, head coaches Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach were among a group of 46 coaches and administrators from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and six other public Mississippi universities that took to their state capital to lobby the removal of the rebel flag from the Mississippi state flag.
Kiffin, who is going into his first season at Ole Miss after being hired in December was very outspoken at the meeting. He told ESPN, "we removed the flag from our campus five years ago, so we've made it clear that it doesn't represent who we are at Ole Miss. Today is another big step in doing our part to move the state forward and ensure a more welcoming environment for everyone. This is extremely important to me and to our players. Time to change!"
Leach, who is also goin into his first season as head coach at Mississippi State, told Joe Cook of 16 WAPT News, "does it unify all the people in the state? If the flag doesn't do that change it...On that very practical level I'm surprised it didn't happen a long time ago."
Major fallout that brought this matter to the forefront of sports is when star Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill posted on Twitter that he would not play next season if the flag is not changed. He posted, "either change the flag or I won’t be representing this State anymore & I meant that .. I’m tired."
Per Chris Low, of ESPN, "the SEC and NCAA both announced last week that NCAA postseason events would not be played in Mississippi until the state flag is changed. Conference USA, of which Southern Miss is a member, made a similar announcement Monday."