LSU athletic director Joe Alleva broke his silence on the Les Miles situation in an interview with reporters on Friday.
Despite the rampant speculation that Miles would be fired after LSU’s regular-season finale against Texas A&M, Alleva emphasized that he trusted Miles as coach.
“Les is our guy, he’s our coach,” Alleva said according to a transcript from The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger. “We’re going to support him.”
Alleva admitted to the media that LSU had looked into other coaches to replace Miles, but said the process didn’t go very far.
“We made some inquiries,” Alleva said according to Dellenger. “There’s talk about negotiations. There were no negotiations. There were inquiries made. There’s a big difference between inquiries and negotiations.”
In the end, Alleva said that Miles was still the best man for the job and that he would do anything he could to help Miles succeed.
“But at the end of the day, after doing due diligence, we came to the conclusion that Les Miles is the right man for the job, and we’re going to back him 100 percent and support him and help him win at the highest level,” Alleva said according to Dellenger.
Alleva said he spoke to Miles before LSU’s regular-season finale against Texas A&M. He told Miles not to worry about the speculation regarding his job future. His comments contradicted multiple reports that suggested Miles had not spoken with Alleva about his job status.
“My first message was to him was ignore all of the talk out there and continue to do your job,” Alleva said according to Dellenger. “I talked to him Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I told him, ‘Don’t worry. Everything is going to be all right.’”
Alleva did not put an onus on the 2016 season and claimed that every season was independent of itself, according to Dellenger. However, Alleva sounded quite optimistic when discussing LSU’s prospects for next year.
“We’re going to be going to a bowl game,” Alleva said. “We have some really good young talent. As you evaluate you have to look at the fact that we played a lot of freshmen and sophomores this year, had a few injuries. We’ve got a lot of great players coming back.”
LSU will have plenty of talent returning next season, which means the pressure could be on Miles to get more than an 8-3 season out of it.