Before either of them ever step foot on the home sidelines for Ole Miss or Mississippi State, Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach might first have to confront the Mississippi legislature.
Kiffin and Leach plan to address the state legislature on Thursday morning. The coaches, along with Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter and Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen, are expected to lobby the legislature about changing the Mississippi state flag to remove the emblem of the Confederate battle flag.
An Ole Miss spokesperson said the tentative list of Ole Miss representatives in attendance includes Kiffin, Carter, basketball coaches Kermit Davis and Yolett McPhee-McCuin, baseball coach Mike Bianco and track and field coach Connie Price-Smith. Ole Miss chancellor Glenn Boyce will also be in attendance, according to the university.
Leach and Cohen will be joined by Mississippi State basketball coaches Ben Howland and Nikki McCray-Penson, baseball coach Chris Lemonis, softball coach Samantha Ricketts and track and field coach Chris Woods, according to a Mississippi State spokesman.
Last week, the NCAA and SEC both announced that they will be prohibiting postseason events from being played in Mississippi until the flag is changed. Conference USA followed suit with a similar announcement on Monday.
Neither Ole Miss nor Mississippi State fly the state flag on their campuses. Representatives from both schools released statements advocating for the flag to be changed in response to the NCAA and SEC decisions.
Mississippi's eight public universities released a joint statement on June 19 condemning the state flag.
"Several years ago, our universities recognized that the Mississippi state flag in its current form is divisive and chose to lower the flag on our campuses," the statement read. "Today, we are committed to continuing to do our part to ensure Mississippi is united in its pursuit of a future that is free of racism and discrimination. Such a future must include a new state flag."
Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill took a stand of his own on Monday. Hill tweeted that unless the state flag is changed he won't "be representing this state anymore."
According to a poll from the Mississippi Economic Council, 55% of voters support changing the flag. Just 41% of Mississippi voters polled opposed a change to the flag. Several high-ranking officials in the Mississippi government have also voiced support for changing the flag, including Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and attorney general Lynn Fitch.
Follow the Mississippi Clarion Ledger's Nick Suss on Twitter @nicksuss.