Lane Kiffin admits to 1 big frustration with Ole Miss fans
Lane Kiffin opted to stay at Ole Miss despite interest from Auburn, but he still has a significant complaint with one particular aspect of that process.
Kiffin admitted Friday that he struggled with criticism he received from Ole Miss fans over how long he took to ultimately turn down Auburn.
The Ole Miss coach stands by his process and felt that he deserved the chance to make a potentially life-changing decision on his own terms.
“We screw up all the time, but when you think you’re doing the right thing and then you’re really criticized for it — especially by your own people — I struggled with that because I feel like I went through a decision-making process that you’re supposed to go through,” Kiffin told Alex Scarborough of ESPN. “I mean, you got to decide. It’s your life and your family’s life.”
Auburn fired Bryan Harsin on Oct. 31, and Kiffin was immediately linked to the position. Despite that, he allowed speculation to linger until Nov. 23, when he privately told his team he would be staying at Ole Miss. The Rebels failed to win a game after the Auburn job became available, which prompted criticism that Kiffin was serving as a distraction.
“I thought I was doing the right thing by saying, ‘OK, I’m going to avoid making this about me, you guys go play. But just so you know, you don’t have to sit here and worry that your coach is leaving tomorrow after the game or something. I’m staying, I just haven’t made it known publicly,'” Kiffin said. “I told them thinking that’s what obviously matters the most, and because we lost it wasn’t done right. If we won, nobody would’ve cared.”
Kiffin tried to downplay and joke about the speculation, but his unwillingness to offer a firm answer may have provided the exact sort of distraction he was apparently trying to avoid. One can certainly understand why Kiffin would not want to say anything if he had yet to make up his mind, but criticism was inevitable.
Ultimately, Kiffin did stay at Ole Miss. As long as he keeps winning, the fans will probablyforget about all this soon enough.
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