A number of Ole Miss football players don’t seem thrilled that head coach Matt Luke was fired Sunday night. According to Nick Suss of the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, a number of Rebels “stormed out” of the meeting in which Athletics director Keith Carter delivered the news to the team.
Some were seniors, but others were reportedly players with eligibility remaining, including running back Jerrion Ealy and defensive end Tariqious Tisdale.
After the meeting, junior offensive lineman Chandler Tuitt said that “half the team” is talking about leaving, adding that if the entire coaching staff is dismissed he doesn’t think many players will stay with the program.
Luke took over for Hugh Freeze in 2017 after Freeze was forced to resign, and finished just 6–6 in his first season before permanently being named head coach.
In his ensuing two seasons in Oxford, Luke won only nine combined games, finishing 5–7 in 2018 and 4–8 in 2019.
But just a week ago, Carter told the Clarion-Ledger that the program was “headed in a great direction” and that he was “excited about Coach Luke.”
However, as it turned out, Luke’s final loss with the Rebels might have been one of his most embarrassing. Last Thursday against Mississippi State, wide receiver Elijah Moore caught a touchdown with four seconds remaining, but received a personal foul penalty for miming a dog peeing in the end zone. The act backed up ensuing extra point attempt which kicker Luke Logan missed, resulting in a 21–20 loss.
The school later apologized calling it, "disappointing and unacceptable," but the Egg Bowl defeat would prove to mark the end of Luke's tenure.