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Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin not portal fan, but not losing games over it

OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin has made his position pretty clear on college football’s transfer portal. Crystal clear. He’s clearly not going to lose games taking some stand on the whole thing, either.

“It’s a terrible system,” he said before the Rebels’ first practice in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Tuesday. “No other professional sports have ever set up a system where free agency starts while the season is still going. It really makes no sense.”

Kiffin’s right about that. It’s kind of stupid, but then again there’s nobody that can regulate. The courts won’t let the NCAA jump into the middle of it and do anything about it. That went away a few weeks ago when they said basically schools could just flat pay players directly. They even went so far as to suggest a minimum of $30,000 per year per scholarship athlete.

Who can fix screwed-up system?

But they can’t do anything about these collectives that have no transparency with no controls. Nobody really likes it, but no court in the country is going to put a limit on how much anybody, including players, can make. Pro sports can do it because they have collective bargaining with unions. Colleges won’t be able to do it.

“You can leave. You can stay. You can go other places,” Kiffin said. “Coaches can call you. Our season is still going. It would be like before the NFC or AFC playoffs start in a couple weeks, all of a sudden, hey, free agency the week before opens, so you can start recruiting other people’s players and fly them on trips and get them to transfer. Really in a really bad system.”

He’s not going to lose any games due to lack of effort trying to get players to Ole Miss. With what is generally regarded right now as the No. 1 transfer portal class this cycle, either Kiffin is one of the best salesmen in the world (he might be) but it’s probably a commitment to having a good team.

Again, it’s all legal. Who’s going to do anything about it? You don’t hear people around hear arguing about it. Kiffin is going to do what he can to win games with whatever the rules are. That’s good to hear.

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