Ole Miss coaches, athletics alumni donate to COVID-19 charities

Published 1:53 pm Monday, April 13, 2020

By Nathanael Gabler
The Oxford Eagle

OXFORD — Ole Miss announced last week that football head coach Lane Kiffin is donating $20,000 to Rebel Aid, part of a $50,000 gift from several university athletics leaders to help those struggling under the conditions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he’s not the only current or former Rebel making big contributions.

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Former Oxford High and Ole Miss star D.K. Metcalf will donate $50,000 himself to COVID-19 relief efforts, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Metcalf is donating $25,000 to the Swedish Hospital in Seattle, where he plays for the Seattle Seahawks, and $25,000 to fund the purchase of meals for Oxford residents in need.

In addition to Kiffin’s gift, others contributing include athletics director Keith Carter, basketball coaches Kermit Davis and Yolett McPhee-McCuin, and baseball coach Mike Bianco.

“Like millions of Americans, many of our student-athletes, including several on our football team, are suffering as a result of the coronavirus,” Kiffin said. “I am proud to lend a hand with others in our athletics department during these challenging times. I encourage the rest of the Ole Miss family to join us in helping our Rebels.”

Most of the coaches’ contributions will be funneled toward the Fins Up Fund, providing financial assistance to Ole Miss student athletes during this COVID-19 crisis. Another portion will go toward serving the campus’ most urgent student needs.

The Fins Up Fund helps with medical bills and other necessary expenses to student-athletes and families that are facing extreme circumstances as a result of the coronavirus. Other examples of expenses could include housing, utilities, groceries, toiletries, academic supplies for online classes, etc.

All of these contributions join with former Rebel Laremy Tunsil’s earlier pledge to donate up to $250,000 to coronavirus relief in his hometown of Lake City, Fla. and current residence of Houston.