Former Trinity Episcopal football standout files $10M suit against Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin over mental health issues

Published 9:24 am Friday, September 15, 2023

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A former Trinity Episcopal School standout is suing Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and the university for $10 million, citing unfair treatment in the wake of mental health issues.

DeSanto Rollins, a defensive tackle for Ole Miss, filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the university and Kiffin for failure to provide equal protection, racial and sexual discrimination and multiple other allegations. Rollins is seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages.

The backup lineman has been plagued by injuries during his collegiate career.

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He was a student at the former Trinity Episcopal School, where he had standout careers in both basketball and football before the school closed. Rollins was a member of the 2018 Saints basketball team that won a South State championship. He played defense on the football team and in 2017 was named to second team All-Metro team by The Natchez Democrat.

Rollins was honored in 2017 by the Miss-Lou chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame as one of 14 standout student athletes in the Miss-Lou. He transferred to Parkview Baptist School in Baton Rouge, La., after Trinity closed in May 2018, and graduated from there. He then signed a scholarship to play for Ole Miss.

The suit alleges that Kiffin discriminated against Rollins “on account of race for requesting and taking and mental health break, but not taking adverse action against white student athletes” who made the same request. Moreover, the suit cites sexual discrimination stating that Ole Miss has not taken “adverse against female student-athletes for requesting and taking a mental break.”

Kiffin declined to comment on the suit late Thursday, but the university issued a statement saying “DeSanto was never removed from the football team and remains on scholarship. In addition, he continues to have the opportunity to receive all of the resources and advantages that are afforded a student-athlete at the university.”

Click here to read the full lawsuit.