LSU and football coach Les Miles seemed destined for a split at the end of the season, thanks to some profuse and premature leaks, but after Saturday’s win over Texas A&M, athletic director Joe Alleva announced Miles will return. According to four sources in Thursday’s report from The Advocate, the school was in active negotiations with FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher days before LSU’s win.
There appear to be two separate decisions made on the same timeline: the choice to fire Miles, and the attempt to get Fisher. From the report:
The university began leaning toward keeping Miles as early as the Wednesday before LSU’s win over Texas A&M last Saturday, and a final decision was announced to some LSU Board of Supervisors members during a meeting at halftime of the game.
Intermediaries from LSU and intermediaries for Fisher were in discussions as late as last week about the former Tigers assistant coach replacing Miles, but those talks curtailed late in the week.
Governor Bobby Jindal, fresh off a failure of a presidential campaign, made a fun cameo by stepping in to support Miles:
[Jindal], a friend to Miles, made calls to high-ranking officials before Saturday’s game. He expressed his concern at how the situation had been handled and encouraged officials not to part ways with the coach, a source said.
“LSU made the right decision in retaining Coach Miles,” Jindal said in a statement to The Advocate earlier this week. “As the (second) winningest coach in LSU history, he earned it.”
The cost was a major factor. It would have taken approximately $17 million to buy out Miles and his coaching staff. Combining that with the hiring of Fisher, the exchange would have been around $30 million. Though the Advocate says private donations would have covered the amount, school president F. King Alexander knew it would have been a bad look from the outside, since LSU dealt with a budget crisis earlier this year. For now, Fisher stays where he is, and Miles gets to keep eating grass.
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