Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin spoke with the media on Tuesday and the topic of name, image, and likeness (NIL) came up once again. It was noteworthy, though, as it was made public that The Grove Collective (an Ole Miss collective) held a massive giving day on Monday and reportedly raised more than $1 million.
Kiffin even compared Ole Miss to the Green Bay Packer franchise in an analogy with navigating the NIL space.
“Extremely encouraged,” Kiffin said at Tuesday’s press conference. “I’m very real on good, bad, ugly. It’s been awesome what the collective has done. I feel like Ole Miss is like the Green Bay Packers of college football, especially the SEC. Not the biggest town, most alumni. Them coming together like they have makes me think of Green Bay and shareholders with the team.”
“Without that, we’re not going anywhere,” added Kiffin. “I don’t care how great assistant coaches you have, who your head coach is. You don’t have this, you don’t have resources, you don’t win.”
Green Bay, Wisconsin is in many ways similar to Oxford, Mississippi (home of the Rebels) in that it is a small town. In this comparison, Kiffin implies that to keep up with big-market cities and boosters with endless cash, they need their grassroots supporters to step up and help fill the void.
Kiffin has been openly transparent regarding NIL. Just this past July, he said NIL was a disaster for the state of college football.
Regardless of Kiffin’s opinions on NIL, he must adapt or be left behind, as NIL has reshaped how major college athletics operate now.
Ole Miss, who opens the season ranked No. 22 in both the AP and Coaches Poll, is set to open its 2023 season when it hosts Mercer on September 2.