Ole Miss football head coach Lane Kiffin declared his team 100 percent vaccinated against COVID-19 headed into preseason football practices in an interview with ESPN Sunday, which a separate unnamed university official later confirmed with the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
“It’s pretty amazing and great motivation for our fans and the state,” Kiffin told ESPN.
The Rebels athletic department has made a big push for vaccination within a state that has struggled with vaccination rates, with just 35.2% of its population fully vaccinated, per Our World in Data figures last updated Saturday.
At SEC media days, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey revealed that there would be no built-in buffers this year to account for postponements due to COVID-19 cases. Instead, a team with too many ineligible players would have to forfeit games.
“Let me be clear to our fans, to our coaches, to our staff members, and to our student-athletes: COVID-19 vaccines are widely available,” Sankey said. “They’ve proven to be highly effective. And when people are fully vaccinated, we all have the ability to avoid serious health risks, reduce the virus’ spread, and maximize our chances of returning to a normal college football experience and to normal life.”
–Field Level Media