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Monday, July 13, 2020

Les Miles

LSU officials knew source of Les Miles leak

Les Miles carried

LSU undoubtedly has regrets about the way the Les Miles situation was handled over the last several weeks. Had it not been for an obvious leak when the athletic department was mulling over Miles’ future, a good portion of the media storm could have been avoided.

LSU officials know where that leak came from.

In a public records request, WVUE in New Orleans obtained roughly 2,000 emails that shed some light on how LSU officials decided Miles’ future. The questions began when a report on Nov. 17 stated that Miles would be coaching for his job against Ole Miss and Texas A&M. A later report claimed LSU made the decision to keep Miles during the 3rd quarter of the Texas A&M game.

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva sent an email to board member Blake Chatelain on Nov. 29 addressing the reports.

“Leak. I know where,” Alleva wrote. “I told you on phone.”

Chatelain expressed frustration in his response.

“That leak has caused problems thorough out this ordeal,” he wrote. “Put us all in tight spots. Would not do anything about it. Just be careful. Will discuss in person when we can.”

The emails also showed that LSU board members disagreed with how the Miles situation was handled. On the morning of the Texas A&M game, board member Stanley Jacobs told USA Today that “Les Miles is our coach” and wished him well. That didn’t sit well with some other board members.

“Stanley felt compelled to do his own press release on behalf of the board,” LSU System president King Alexander wrote in an email.

“I agree…not cool,” board member Ann Duplessis replied.

LSU ultimately decided to keep Miles, and some emails indicate that the decision was made before the Texas A&M game, as LSU’s sports information department sent a draft of a press release to Alleva five hours before the game announcing that Miles would keep his job.

Chatelain later emailed several board members to stress how future coaching decisions need to be handled differently.

“The lesson learned here is how rapid and vicious the 24 hour news cycle and the social media impact is on matters like this,” he wrote. “We can learn from this and be better prepared in future. I will say , that most of the feedback I have received from fans sounds like this ‘it was probably the right decision to keep Les’ – but I sure hope he was given the message that the program has problems that need addressing This my friends was one of the most fluid, complex, confusing situations I have ever seen [sic].”

Without leaks, LSU could have stressed to Miles privately that he needs to agree to some changes or look for work elsewhere. The fact that so many stories leaked (here’s another detailed one) turned the situation into a mess.

Report: LSU negotiated with Jimbo Fisher but money was an issue

Jimbo Fisher

LSU did indeed enter contract negotiations with Jimbo Fisher before ultimately backtracking and announcing they were sticking with Les Miles as their head football coach. But money and support for Miles were the two biggest obstacles preventing the school from hiring Fisher, according to a report.

The Baton Rouge Advocate says LSU and Fisher were in talks about a contract to have the Florida State head coach replace Miles. Fisher has a $5 million buyout and would command more than $5 million a year as a coach, plus the cost to hire him a satisfactory staff would have been around $5 million, according to The Advocate. When you combine that with the $15 million it would have cost to buy out Miles, the total to make a coaching switch would have been around $30 million. That’s a hefty price to replace a coach who ultimately has been pretty successful.

LSU boosters had said the $15 million buyout would not be a problem and that they would cover it with private funds. But given the state’s funding and budget issues, approving these moves would have been difficult.

The other issue is that Miles received a lot of support when word leaked about the plans to potentially replace him. The school board was said to be split on the matter. Then state governor Bobby Jindal weighed in and supported Miles, which obviously carried a lot of weight.

The Advocate says the sentiment to keep Miles began to change in the week leading up to the Texas A&M game. Miles went from walking into the game like it might be his last ever home game as LSU’s head coach to winning and being carried off the field by his players (the video was awesome). Then after the game, the school’s athletic director announced they were keeping the coach.

When you come that close to breaking up once, it’s hard to repair a relationship. Things will likely continue to be rocky in Baton Rouge despite Miles being able to hold onto his job for another season.

LSU keeping Les Miles in bizarre turn of events

Les Miles carried

After weeks of speculation and belief that he would be fired, LSU announced that Les Miles would remain the football coach after the team’s win over Texas A&M on Saturday night.

A look into the decision making process reveals a bizarre series of decisions, most notably LSU administrators not deciding to retain Miles until the third quarter of the game.

A series of tweets from ESPN’s Joe Schad show that LSU didn’t exactly handle this situation well.

(more…)

Les Miles carried off field by his players after LSU win (Video)

Les Miles carried

If Saturday marked Les Miles’ last home game as head coach of the LSU Tigers, then he surely went out in style.

Miles’ Tigers beat Texas A&M 19-7 as they ended their three-game losing streak with an impressive victory. Miles sure was soaking up the atmosphere in Death Valley.

Here he is tipping his cap to the fans:

The fans — led by the student section — led “Les Miles” and “We want Les” chants.

All rumors and reports have pointed to this being Miles’ final season at LSU. He was asked by SEC Network after the game whether that was the case.

“I have no idea. The only thing I can tell you is that I enjoyed coaching this team, and I am very proud,” said Miles.

He was then carried off the field by his players:

Bobby Jindal tweets support for Les Miles

Les Miles

While it appears Les Miles may no longer have many supporters within LSU, he has atleast one in the Louisiana government.

Reports have been swirling for most of the week that Saturday’s game between LSU and Texas A&M will be Miles’ last on the sideline for the Tigers. He reportedly told a group of boosters that Saturday would be his last game. While it looks as though the university wants him out, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took to his Twitter account and issued a statement hoping Miles is able to keep his job.

Miles has been at LSU since 2005 and has coached the team to a 110-32 record, including two SEC championships and one national championship. If he was to be relieved of his duties, Miles would be owed a $15 million buyout from the school.

Jimbo Fisher has been a name frequently left to fill the potential vacancy. Prior to being named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida State, Fisher held the same positions at LSU under Nick Saban and Les Miles.

Report: Les Miles tells LSU boosters Saturday will be last game

Les Miles

LSU coach Les Miles reportedly told members of LSU’s Gridiron Club that Saturday’s game would be his last as head coach of the Tigers, according to two reports.

Miles told attendees at a group luncheon that he will “always be a Tiger” and thanked them for “a great 11 years,” and confirmed that he would not coach LSU’s bowl game, according to Tiger Rag’s Cody Worsham. NOLA.com’s Jim Kleinpeter corroborated the report, citing attendees who said that while Miles didn’t explicitly say as much, he made it clear that Saturday’s game would be his last and called LSU his second family.

Wolsham cited sources who said that Miles appeared in good spirits, while Kleinpeter’s source told him that Miles was “emotional but in control.”

The reports confirm the growing sentiment that LSU is done with Miles, with Jimbo Fisher being speculated as a potential replacement. This is the strongest indication yet that Miles’s days at LSU are numbered.

Report: LSU ‘prepared’ to move on from Les Miles

Les Miles

The chatter about Les Miles losing his job is getting louder by the day.

Pat Forde of Yahoo reported on Monday that LSU is “prepared” to part ways with Miles in the wake of the team’s blowout loss to Ole Miss. While the decision has not been made final, all signs point to Miles already having one foot out the door.

Forde also notes that the potential buyout for Miles is said to be “staggering.” But as we mentioned over the weekend, a separate report claims the $15 million price tag associated with firing Miles will not be an issue for LSU’s boosters.

Miles reportedly met with LSU officials recently and said that his intention is to retire after the 2016 season. After beginning the season 7-0, the Tigers have lost three straight and are no longer in contention for the College Football Playoff.

If Miles leaves LSU, it is highly unlikely that he will retire. At age 62, he should have at least a few more good seasons left in him and plenty of interest around the country.