Lane Kiffin of Ole Miss Rebels says coach involvement in directing funds, salary cap would help solve current issues with NIL

ATLANTA -- Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin believes that in an ideal world, there would be an NFL-style system for name, image and likeness in which a head coach or a general manager would have the ability to facilitate funds from collectives and donors, and every program would be held to a salary cap.

But because there's no salary cap and because coaches can't be involved in directing NIL funds, Kiffin said, "You've got a whole other set of problems."

"If you got boosters out there deciding who they're gonna pay to come play and the coach isn't involved in it, how's that work?" Kiffin said Monday at SEC media days. "Do they just go pick who they want? ... And then when they don't play, how's that gonna work out?

"So again, this was not thought out at all, in my opinion. And it's created a massive set of issues."

Kiffin has been unafraid to talk about the impact of NIL on recruiting.

On signing day in February, Kiffin joked that Texas A&M, which signed the top class, "was going to incur a luxury tax in how much they paid for their signing class."

"NIL is the most important thing in the kids' decision-making process right now," Kiffin said Monday. "It is. It's their salary. So that's for most people, let alone when you're 17 and a lot of 'em not coming from money."

Leveraging what Ole Miss' donors have offered and the appeal of the football program overall, the Rebs have been active in the transfer portal, landing several high-profile players such as former TCU star running back Zach Evans and USC quarterback Jaxson Dart.

"On paper we may look like we should be decent because we filled a lot of holes with transfer portals," Kiffin said. "... [But] we have to put them all together. It's a blended family. So that is challenging.

"In fall camp, it should be about teaching X's and O's like it always is, but we have a lot of culture work to do that you don't really have to do as much when it's established because your best players normally have been in your program for a year or two. So we look forward to that challenge."