The latest details in the Les Miles saga add some context to what was a muddled situation.
According to a report from The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger and Elizabeth Crisp, LSU president F. King Alexander intervened in the Miles discussion and helped squash the firing of Miles and hiring of Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher.
The Advocate reported that LSU officials had spoken with Fisher about replacing Miles, but Miles’ $15 million buyout, plus Fisher’s potential salary was too substantial for Alexander and LSU as the school deals with a constricted budget.
LSU’s president wasn’t the only high profile public official to have a say in the matter. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal gave his opinion to some high-ranking LSU officials, according to The Advocate. Jindal reportedly advised those officials to keep Miles.
President Alexander told The Business Report in an interview that the decision to keep Miles had been settled on before LSU’s 19-7 win over Texas A&M, but confirmed that the actual decision was announced to members of LSU’s Board of Supervisors during halftime last Saturday.
Money ultimately became one of the biggest reasons why Miles kept his job. The university would have had to pay Miles and his staff a combined $17 million in buyout fees plus a new contract for Fisher. According to The Advocate, LSU would have offered Fisher a multi-year contract worth at least $5 million per season.
Another big factor was the outpouring of support and love for the coach of 11 years. Fans gave Miles a standing ovation before last weekend’s game and he was carried off the field by his team after defeating the Aggies. Emotions were at an all-time high in what appeared to be Miles’ swan song at LSU.
Then, athletic director Joe Alleva announced immediately after the game that Miles was still LSU’s coach in a strange scene at Tiger Stadium.
Miles remained, but Dellenger and Crisp report that the Board of Supervisors were split on the decision.
“Half were hoping for him to be fired, and half were hoping we’d keep him,” a board member told The Advocate.
Miles will be on the sidelines for LSU’s bowl game and beyond, but it seems the university was awfully close to making a deal with Fisher.