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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Ole Miss Football Player Files $40M Lawsuit Against Lane Kiffin, School

  • DeSanto Rollins makes a series of allegations in a federal lawsuit filed on Thursday.
  • Ole Miss says Rollins “remains on scholarship.”
Lane Kiffin

Ole Miss football player DeSanto Rollins alleged head coach Lane Kiffin was “malicious, intentional, willful, wanton, grossly reckless, and indifferent” to Rollins’ mental health in a federal lawsuit that seeks $40 million in damages. 

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, listed Kiffin and Ole Miss as defendants.

According to the complaint, Rollins, who remains listed on Ole Miss’ roster, alleges that Kiffin “ignored” signs indicating he was suffering from depression following an injury last season, further exacerbated by his grandmother’s recent death earlier this year.

“Desanto was never removed from the football team and remains on scholarship,” Ole Miss Athletics said in a statement to Front Office Sports. “In addition, he continues to have the opportunity to receive all of the resources and advantages that are afforded a student-athlete at the university.”

WCBI-TV was the first outlet to report the lawsuit filing. 

Rollins alleged that defensive line coach Randall Joyner urged Rollins to transfer in a meeting last November. After Rollins chose to remain at Ole Miss, the lawsuit alleges Rollins informed Kiffin he was going to “take a mental health break because of the verbal abuse from Kiffin and the mental anxiety, depression, and worthlessness he was feeling.”

According to the lawsuit, Rollins sought counseling from an athletic department psychologist and confided in other staffers before arranging another meeting with Kiffin in March.

“I don’t give a f–k what your mom says or what you think. In the real f—ing world, you show up to work. Then you say, ‘Hey, I have mental issues. I can’t do anything for two weeks,’” Kiffin purportedly told Rollins at the meeting. “… What f—ing world do you live in?”

“It’s called being a p—-y, it’s called hiding behind st-t, and not showing up to work, you show up when your boss [asks].”

Kiffin then acted like he was calling Ole Miss Athletic Director Keith Carter, according to the lawsuit.

“I am not showing up to work for the next two weeks,” Kiffin said per the complaint. 

Moments later, Kiffin allegedly slammed the phone down and yelled, “Fired.”

The lawsuit alleges Rollins, who is Black, was denied his 14th Amendment rights of equal protection under the law. He also alleged rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were violated since white student-athletes didn’t face retaliation for seeking mental health breaks. 

Rollins’ attorney also cited Title IX sexual discrimination as one of the eight claims in the lawsuit. The lawsuit stated female student-athletes who took mental health breaks faced no consequences.

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