'Half the team' considering transferring from Ole Miss after Matt Luke firing, per player
Some players apparently aren't happy about Luke's dismissal at Ole Miss
Matt Luke is Ole Miss and a number of Rebels players apparently aren't happy about it -- to the point where they'd consider leaving the program. How many would follow through is anyone's guess. Emotions are high considering Ole Miss just to Mississippi State and fired its coach within one weekend. Still, one player told Nick Suss of the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger that "half the team" is talking about leaving if the entire coaching staff is dismissed.of
Rebels offensive lineman Chandler Tuitt made his comments following a team meeting with athletic director Keith Carter. "But you realize, there's no program without players," Tuitt said. "You're basing stuff off the fans. But we don't care about the fans that much. I'm going to be honest. We're here for the coach. We love football. If you don't want to support us, that's just your fault."
Center Eli Johnson added that he will be returning to Ole Miss next season, and that some teammates feel the same, but others would be willing to walk.
"But that's not the case with a lot of guys. A lot of guys came to school here because of coach Luke," Johnson said. "They don't have any ties to Ole Miss football. That's what scares me is how are those guys going to respond to this?"
Ole Miss is coming off a disappointing 4-8 season that ended in the worst way possible. Tuitt could also be overestimating the number of players who'd actually be willing to transfer. Cooler heads may prevail by the time it's all said and done. Who Ole Miss hires to replace Luke will play a factor in the vibe of the locker room, too.
But the comments from Tuitt and Johnson highlight a new era of player leverage in college football. It's not much leverage, but with the transfer portal as an available option, players can now dip their toes into the transfer waters to see if they like the temperature. Even if it's not half the team like Tuitt described, attrition is commonplace anytime there's coaching staff turnover. And now it's easier than ever to find a way into a new situation.
Whether the decision to fire Luke was a good one or not, it was a business decision. All firings are. Ole Miss could have been 0-12 with players emotionally invested in Luke and the school would have had a responsibility to make a change. It's a precarious balance, but it'll be fascinating to watch over the coming months if Tuitt's assessment comes even remotely close to true.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
What scenarios do Oklahoma, Utah, Baylor and Georgia have to the playoff? Let's take a look
Josh Nagel has his finger on the pulse of SEC football.
SportsLine's proven computer model simulated Friday's Utah vs. Oregon game 10,000 times.
Tedford has been leading his alma mater successfully since 2017
The Pac-12's mediocrity has become a running joke, but the Utes can help change all of that
Gatewood was the backup to Bo Nix for Auburn to start the 2019 season
Oklahoma leaned on its rushing attack to win a key rivalry game on Saturday night
No. 11 Florida closed out its regular season with an emphatic victory over rival Florida State...
Live scores, highlights and updates from the Hawaii vs. Army West Point football game