FanDuel - WFBC

December 03, 2007

Good riddance!: Personally, I saw all I needed to see of Les Miles in his hastily called news conference Saturday. He affected a barking, angry tone, hands by his hips, at one point tugging emphatically on his sports coat.

posted by bo_fan to football at 12:49 PM - 22 comments

Suggestion: next time you're quoting from an article in an FPP, put it in quotes or italics -- something that makes it clear those aren't your words.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:57 PM on December 03

Been reading the Free Press through all of this drama . . . Conclusion? Les Miles and Nick Saban are cut from the same cloth. I hope this is not and indicaton of the future of college coaching. These antics should be left where they belong - Professional Sports . . . no intergrity required.

posted by B-2 Spirit at 04:12 PM on December 03

Les Miles and Nick Saban are cut from the same cloth. What has Les Miles done that is remotely close to what Saban has done? Has he announced he's not going anywhere and then shortly thereafter left his program (as Saban did to MSU and then LSU)? Has he announced he's going to take a storied franchise and take the time to rebuild it, only to decide two years in that it's not worth it and leave the team in disarray and the owner and new coach with a real mess to sort out (as Saban did to the Dolphins)? All that Miles did was announce he wasn't going to take a job that wasn't formally offered to him, in part to refute a report on ESPN that he had definitively agreed to take the job that came out on the day his team was gearing up to play in conference a championship game. In this age of non-denial denials, that press conference stands out as a pretty bold move -- whether it was done for money, because the Michigan job wasn't forthcoming as quickly as he would have liked, or otherwise, it sent an unequivocal message to his players and to the LSU fans and for that his move should be respected at some level. And contra Albom (whose already useless drivel is becoming increasingly worthless), Michigan lost Miles not because LSU offered to pay him more money, they lost him because they pussyfooted around on him and didn't treat him like the top candidate for the job that he was. Carr never was on board with the Miles thing, and Michigan's delays spelled doom for them. All it would have taken was a firm offer for Miles through his agent, and I doubt he would have called the press conference. By the looks of things, a combination of the ESPN report and LSU offering more money pushed him over the edge at that particular time, but Michigan's foot dragging and the lack of support from the Carr camp were the deeper reasons for this. The whole timing of Carr's announcement of his retirement was always going to spell trouble for Miles, and maybe intentionally so. I'm not saying Les Miles is the class of college coaching. As an LSU fan, I wish he handled himself with a bit more tact and dignity. But to paint with such a broad brush and assassinate the guy's character because he didn't take a job with the local team is weak and petty. Stick to the feel good, Lifetime movie stories about mentors with terminal illnesses and factual accounts of encounters at the Final Four that never occurred, Albom. Your sports writing sucks.

posted by holden at 04:50 PM on December 03

holden, have you forgotten how Miles got to LSU? He screwed over Oklahoma State by saying (before the Alamo Bowl against Ohio State) that he wasn't interested in LSU and would not leave Oklahoma State. I believe that right after he lost the Alamo Bowl (almost a blow out) he announced that he was going to LSU. No, he hasn't done anything similar to Saban.

posted by lil'red at 05:01 PM on December 03

lil'red -- fair point; I honestly didn't know about Miles' past history and should have at least tried to look into it. I think the point still stands that comparing him to Saban, who has done that three times now, or suggesting that this whole Michigan thing is somewhat Sabanesque, is off base.

posted by holden at 05:16 PM on December 03

I wish coaches had to sit out a season like the players do when they transfer schools.

posted by scully at 05:58 PM on December 03

Thank you lil'red - you beat me to the punch . . . If it's not Sabanesque - how would you cregorize Miles behavoir? If he had absolutely NO ineterest in the Michigan position - why didn't he proclaim upon first knowledge of HIS A.D. for Michigan to contact him, that he had no intention or interest in speaking with them? . . . He played LSU vs. Michigan to his advantage. . . As you pointed out - Michigan did not contact him - as they were asked NOT to until the Championship game was complete - is that waiting too long? dragging your feet? I believe not . . . I will reserve final judgement until the middle of January to see how this all plays out.

posted by B-2 Spirit at 07:11 PM on December 03

catagorize - typing error - sorry

posted by B-2 Spirit at 07:12 PM on December 03

Holden, no problem. I only know because I live in Oklahoma and he is still not liked here. And by the way, as far as I know Miles has not signed his new agreement with LSU. I'm not definite, but I do know as of yesterday, there was no signature. So I kind of agree with B-2 Spirit, I'm waiting to see what happens on January 8. The only thing I'm wondering, if he loses the national championship, will Michigan still be interested in him?

posted by lil'red at 07:47 PM on December 03

I think Miles was very interested in the Michigan job. He clearly has a strong attachment to Michigan and I assume he would love to coach Michigan at some point in time. However, Michigan clearly went about this terribly and paid the price. I think Miles' actions were more to reassure his team and keep them focused for the game ahead. Not having to worry about whether your coach is going to leave to another school definitely makes it easier on the players.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:14 PM on December 03

He played LSU vs. Michigan to his advantage. . . As you pointed out - Michigan did not contact him - as they were asked NOT to until the Championship game was complete - is that waiting too long? dragging your feet? I believe not . . . If you think Miles' people and Michigan were not in discussions, you don't have much of an understanding of how these things work (and that's not a criticism; there are all sorts of behind the scenes actions and unwritten rules about how these things play out). From this article in the Detroit Free Press:

But [Miles] had been in contact with Michigan through back channels for weeks, the Free Press learned through multiple people in the U-M and Miles camps. Through intermediaries, Miles' representatives and Michigan were hammering out the terms of an agreement. Miles knew Michigan was prepared to offer a five-year deal. He knew how much money Michigan was prepared to offer. He was fine with it. [...] From all indications, Miles was willing to take less money from Michigan. He was fine with a shorter contract. He would have liked a larger pool of cash to hire assistants, but I don't think that would have scuttled the deal, either. He just needed to know the Michigan job was his. And Michigan couldn't make that promise.
Personally, I wouldn't be sad to see Miles leave LSU. Character issues notwithstanding, I don't think Nick Saban would have lost 2 games with this team. (Of course, Nick's Crimson Tide lost to Louisiana-Monroe at home this year, so what do I know?) I just think that Albom's column was a bit over the top in impugning the man's character (and had the tone and content of a distressed high schooler trying to rationalize how he or she got turned down for the senior prom -- "I didn't want to go with that loser anyway"), and I think Miles has a ways to go in terms of exhibitions of poor character traits and underhanded douchebaggery before we can put him in Saban's league. As to Miles saying he was never interested in the Michigan job, yes I think it's safe to say that's a lie. But it's a lie more targeted to keeping alive certain fictions -- such as the fiction that back channel conversations are not ongoing when one school doesn't have express permission to speak to a coach under contract at another school -- than anything else. If you don't see the difference between a lie that says "I was never really interested in a job" that someone was really interested in (as is likely the case with Miles here) and a lie that says "I'm not going somewhere" that is then followed by that person going to that place (as the case in Saban's history at least twice and Miles' at least once), then I don't know what to say. All that said, the new contract hasn't been inked and nothing would surprise me. But until Miles takes the Michigan job after unequivocally saying he wouldn't, let's not brand him Satan's kid brother.

posted by holden at 10:02 PM on December 03

The day Mitch Albom retires, I'm throwing a party and inviting everybody he doesn't like. He's become a whiny schmuck, and should concentrate on fawning over Oprah. Miles may indeed be a douchebag on the Saban level, but he automatically gets a break from me, just because Albom doesn't like him. To paraphrase an old saying, "The enemy of Mitch Albom is my friend."

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:47 AM on December 04

Miles was on Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio yesterday and unequivocally stated that neither he, or his people, had been in touch with Michigan. I know we're comparing him to Saban here, who made similar denials, but Miles was very specific and made sure that any "fudging" language was removed from the statement. Essentially Mike Greenberg said "to your knowledge there has been no contact between your people and Michigan" to which Miles answered; "There is no "to my knowledge." My people have not been in contact with Michigan." Greenberg went back to it this morning and replayed that section of the interview to make it clear. If Miles does end up in maize then he'll have provided ESPN with plenty of rope for his execution.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 06:42 AM on December 04

I agree with lil'red about the Les Miles story. I also live in Oklahoma and he was so adamant that he was not going anywhere when the LSU job came open. He had just received an enormous gift from Boone Pickens for hundreds of millions in stadium renovations/expansion, upgrades for the facilities to the weight rooms, and even a new indoor practice field (as well as many more perks). He was set for life here and was supposed to bring OSU to the status of the big-time schools. And, the fans of OSU loved him. He was able to beat OU. OSU even had a contract extention and more money to make him a very well paid coach. He kept telling everyone that he wasn't going anywhere. Then he bolted to LSU and left a stocked team. But, that was unfair to the players he recruited and some (not all) left when he did. I believe they still loath him in Stillwater. I agree also that if a coach transfers, he should sit out a year as they make the players do so. As for the Michigan job, he has not that I have heard clearly said he won't coach at Michigan. He keeps talking circles like he did here. There is one thing to remember, he has a buy-out option for one team only, MICHIGAN. I might be a bit off, but I feel he has left the door cracked just enough to say goodbye and "hey, I never lied". Still Saban-like in his approach so far that I have seen. Maybe he will prove me wrong, but we shall see.

posted by Mickster at 07:45 AM on December 04

Let's put some blame where it needs to be, that being on MICHIGAN. LSU had a conference championship game to play and yet MICHIGAN came out last monday and stated they had requested permission to talk to Miles from LSU. It was MICHIGAN that 'leaked' the Miles deal to espn to be broadcast the day of the SEC championship game. It appears MICHIGAN was doing everything in it's power to undermine the LSU program and take the attention of the coaches/players off the game and onto the future of the coach. Or maybe it just is a result of the no-account BIG 10 conference not having the BALLS to play a championship game as the other 'major' BCS conferences do and not recognizing what the importance of a championship game is to a conference. The PAC 10 needs to grow a set themselves.

posted by jaygolf at 09:14 AM on December 04

Or maybe it just is a result of the no-account BIG 10 conference not having the BALLS to play a championship game as the other 'major' BCS conferences do and not recognizing what the importance of a championship game is to a conference. Conference championships are horseshit cashgrabs, nothing more. You know how you win a conference title? By winning more games than anyone else in your conference during the season. Too many teams for every one to play one another? Then shrink your conference and/or stop scheduling Buttlick State for the first three games of the year.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:23 AM on December 04

There is one thing to remember, he has a buy-out option for one team only, MICHIGAN. This has been misreported just about everywhere. Miles has a $1.25MM buyout for Michigan, a $500,000 buyout if he leaves for any other school. [Source] Or maybe it just is a result of the no-account BIG 10 conference not having the BALLS to play a championship game as the other 'major' BCS conferences do and not recognizing what the importance of a championship game is to a conference. The PAC 10 needs to grow a set themselves. At least in the Pac 10, every team plays every other team each season. That set up seems fair to me. For the 12-team conferences, I am okay with the conference championships because playing every other team is not as feasible. The Big Ten is stuck in that it's neither here nor there -- not an even number for two divisions and probably one team bigger than is feasible for every team to play every other team each season without seriously curtailing the out of conference schedule.

posted by holden at 09:30 AM on December 04

the BIG 10 has 11 teams... That is why SATAN himself created Notre Dame.

posted by jaygolf at 11:51 AM on December 04

Michigan should make a play for Wake Forest's Jim Grobe.

posted by NoMich at 12:58 PM on December 04

He is reportedly on the list of candidates.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:21 PM on December 04

"Or maybe it just is a result of the no-account BIG 10 conference not having the BALLS to play a championship game as the other 'major' BCS conferences do and not recognizing what the importance of a championship game is to a conference." Yea O.K. so the Pac 10, the Big East and the Big Ten all have no balls right? What a stupid statement! LOL Seriously, like there not just cash cows right? Give me a break. Anyway if you think that the Les miles Michgan thing is over you're crazy. Didn't he do almost the exact same thing when he was at I think Oklahoma? He's from Michigan, he played at Michigan, he coached at Michigan, he played under Bo Schembechler at Michigan, he met his wife in Michigan. LSU has a fine program, let's take nothing away from them, thay are a quality team. But the temptation for this guy to leave has to be incredible! He has a chance to have what he has stated himself as his "Dream Job", and he's not going to take it? We'll see he might not but this isn't over by a long shot.

posted by B10 at 01:47 PM on December 05

Miles signed an extension contract with LSU yesterday. So goodby to Michigan!

posted by lil'red at 08:15 AM on December 07

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