Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin: Players should have option to transfer, play immediately if school shuts down fall football

Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin expressed support Tuesday for the idea that players from schools not playing football this fall should be allowed to transfer and be immediately eligible for a team that is playing.

Several major conferences, most notably the Big Ten and Pac-12, pulled the plug on fall football competition while others, including the Southeastern Conference, still hope to play.

“I think it’s a shame,” Kiffin said in an interview with SEC Network’s Dari Nowkhah. “A lot of them have got a lot of money on the line for the next level, or they just want to play their last years. It’s really unfortunate that the NCAA isn’t going to allow them to play and be eligible immediately. That doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Lane Kiffin says players from schools not playing football this fall should be able to transfer and play immediately at programs that are. (Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY)

Under NCAA transfer rules, a non-graduate student moving to another FBS school would have to sit out a full season. Exceptions are often granted for different individual circumstances, but a waiver for players from programs shut down due to COVID-19 will not be made, Kiffin said.

“I’ve asked that question via our conference when it first started happening,” Kiffin said. “I was told that would not be in the waiver process. It’s very unfortunate for the kids, especially now that we’re finally saying do the right things for the kids. This would be one of them.”

The NCAA has its reasons for not considering the immediate transfer proposal.

Among the 76 FBS schools planning to play football this fall, most do not have many scholarship slots available this close to the season. Another issue: It would amount to an open recruiting season at schools whose programs are shut down.

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