Lane Kiffin, Michael Wilbon Trade Shots Over College Football Transfers
Lane Kiffin and Michael Wilbon traded shots over college football transfers in the COVID era this week.
It all began on Tuesday, when Kiffin appeared on the SEC Network and argued that players who are part of conferences that are unwilling to play in the fall should be permitted to transfer without penalty.
“Kids are having their schools or their conferences deciding to shut down, so they can’t play, and a lot of them have a lot of money on the line with the next level, or they just want to play their last year,” he said.
“So it’s really unfortunate that the NCAA is not allowing them to transfer and be eligible immediately. We’re being told that won’t even go into a waiver process, so I feel really bad for those kids. It’s not their fault. Why can’t they come play somewhere? That doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Wilbon, who recently went viral after bashing Nebraska and Iowa for wanting to play college football in the fall, found himself deeply perturbed by Kiffin’s comments.
“I have never agreed with anything Lane Kiffin has said and I’m glad to have consistency on this here program today,” he lamented on Pardon The Interruption.
“The notion that that kid may be a student too, these coaches now, more than ever are looking like liars.
“Lane Kiffin doesn’t give a damn about the student part. … These coaches want these guys to be pros, except they’re not getting paid.”
Wilbon’s PTI co-host, Tony Kornheiser, immediately disagreed with him. He argued that Kiffin’s point, although likely self-serving in nature, was a fair one.
Players chose their schools based on football. And if football was no longer an option at those schools, the kids involved should be permitted to go elsewhere.
“They didn’t choose a school because of the chemistry program, they chose a school to play football,” Kornheiser said.
On Thursday, Kiffin fired back at Wilbon.
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) August 20, 2020
With both sides hunkered in place and confident in their positions, it’s probably safe to assume that this issue will not be going away any time soon.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) August 20, 2020
Lane Kiffin Is Not Alone
Kiffin is not alone in wanting players to have the opportunity to play in the fall. Alabama head coach Nick Saban recently argued that the prospect of spring football was ludicrous and should not be viewed as a legitimate replacement for fall football.
“I think one of the real consequences of this is, if you’re a junior or a senior and you have an NFL grade, are you going to play in the spring?” Saban pointed out.
“Or is that going to become sort of a JV season with a lot of these juniors and seniors opting out?”
One way or another, it looks like college football of some sort will happen this fall. Whether that will involve players from all conferences, or just the ones lucky enough to have agreed to attend SEC, ACC and Big 12 schools, remains to be seen.