Judge dismisses player’s $40 million lawsuit against Kiffin
Published 6:41 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2024
OXFORD (AP) — A lawsuit accusing Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin of racial and sexual discrimination and negligence was dismissed Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills ordered the case closed. Mills dismissed defensive tackle DeSanto Rollins’ claims of negligence, gross negligence and that Kiffin had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act without prejudice, which means they can be refiled.
Mills dismissed remaining claims with prejudice.
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The lawsuit filed in federal court in Oxford contended that Rollins, a senior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was kicked off the team during a mental health crisis. The school insisted Rollins was on the team and on scholarship while seeking a dismissal.
Rollins did not play for the Rebels last season.
Rollins, who is Black, had been seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages. He claimed he was not supported through his depression the way white and female athletes have been at Ole Miss.
Rollins’ playing career has been hampered by injuries, including a concussion and an Achilles tendon injury in the spring and summer of 2022 that left him severely depressed, the lawsuit said.
A message seeking comment could not be left at a listed phone number for Rollins’ attorney because the voicemail memory was full.
Attorneys for the school and Kiffin contended that the coach “is not liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
They also challenged the validity of Rollins’ claims regarding equal protection, discrimination and negligence and said the district court “should decline supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state law claims.”