Lane Kiffin, Other Ole Miss Coaches to Lobby Mississippi Legislature for Change of the State Flag
Various leaders from across Ole Miss and Mississippi State athletics have been outspoken over the past week, pushing for a change in the Mississippi State flag.
It's now Lane Kiffin's turn.
As first reported by Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, both Kiffin and Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach are part of a group scheduled to lobby in front of State Legislature on Thursday, pushing for the State of Mississippi to make a change in the flag.
Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter and Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen are also reportedly part of the lobbying party.
In addition to Kiffin and Carter, a large contingent of Ole Miss coaches, including Mike Bianco, Yolett McPhee-McCuin, Kermit Davis and Connie Price-Smith will all be in attendance tomorrow in Jackson.
This seemingly bizarre set of circumstances should come as no surprise to anyone who's remotely been paying attention to the news over the past seven days.
This past Thursday, the Southeastern Conference released a statement saying they would no longer hold any championship events in the state of Mississippi until they make a change in the flag. One day later, the NCAA came down with an even heavier blow, stating that no postseason events of any kind will be held in the state until the flag is changed.
Earlier today, Dellenger laid out on Sports Illustrated the legislative path to changing the flag, something that's been entangled in many more hoops than some thought might be necessary.
“God shows you things,” said Trey Lamar, a white Republican from North Mississippi, who played running back at Ole Miss in the early 2000s. “If half the people in the state want to get rid of it, a flag doesn’t do its job.”
Lamar was at Ole Miss when the state offered voters a chance to change the flag in 2001. That vote was shot down. Some representatives from the state have even mentioned the NCAA, saying they've put pressure on a flag change and sped up the potential process.
Now, amid sport and therefore potential economic ramifications, any momentum towards keeping the flag seems to be going up in flames with only political ramifications hanging in the balance. Hell, even some players have threatened to sit out and not play this season if change does not come.
Are Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach the best political lobbyists? Absolutely not. But they are two of the most powerful voices in the state. And their voices will be heard on Thursday in Jackson, Miss.
Editor's note: A later update included the fact that multiple coaches, not just Kiffin, will be in attendance.