May 24, 2024
Kiffin wants to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Rollins, who claims he was dismissed from the team during a mental health crisis

In a recent development, audio recordings capturing a heated exchange between Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin and player DeSanto Rollins have surfaced. Kiffin aims to dismiss a lawsuit that Rollins filed, alleging dismissal from the team during a mental health crisis.

The university, in its filing on Wednesday, asserts that Rollins remains on the team and scholarship. Kiffin, heard in the recorded conversation, initially declares, “Go, you’re off the team. You’re done,” but later states, “We can kick you off the team.”

Rollins is pursuing a $40 million lawsuit, alleging failure to provide equal protection, racial and sexual discrimination, and other claims. The suit contends that Rollins, being Black, did not receive the same support for his depression as white and female athletes at Ole Miss.

Attorneys for Kiffin and the university argue immunity from some claims and assert other allegations fail to “state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

Rollins met with Kiffin on Feb. 27, leading to a shift from defensive tackle to the scout team’s offensive line. Rollins, questioning if it was a “choice or a command,” claimed Kiffin suggested quitting if dissatisfied. Rollins then took a “mental break.”

The lawsuit details a lack of mental health support materials and referrals during Rollins’ recovery from injuries. Rollins further alleges defensive line coach Randall Joyner encouraged entering the transfer portal late in the 2022 season.

In a motion to dismiss, Kiffin and the university argue Rollins hasn’t shown differential treatment and discriminatory intent.

 The audio, transcribed in full, reveals Kiffin emphasizing the importance of meeting obligations in the real world.

Despite public reaction to viral clips, the university clarifies the team did not remove DeSanto Rollins and his scholarship persists. 

Former SEC star Jake Bequette supports Kiffin, emphasizing personal and team accountability.

In response to criticisms, Kiffin maintains his stance, asserting the need for responsibility even in challenging situations. 

The university encourages DeSanto Rollins to learn and mature from this experience.

This controversy raises questions about the intersection of mental health, accountability, and athletic responsibilities in collegiate sports.

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