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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why a raise for Les Miles?

LSU coach Les Miles did not deserve his recent raise to $1.65 million, particularly because he was already making a nice salary at $1.2 million a year.

Miles did a good job in 2005 as he led LSU to an 11-2 mark despite schedule and routine changes brought on by Hurricane Katrina and Rita. But he was expected to go at least about 11-2 considering the fact that he inherited one of the best programs in recent years in the nation.

Miles inherited a large portion of the LSU team that won the 2003 national championship with a 13-1 record. He was supposed to at least do well. Doing well does not mean you get a raise, particularly when you got a huge raise to leave Oklahoma State for a national championship contender at LSU.

Miles earned his first year's salary and nothing more. Yes, the hurricanes were tough, but moreso on the players. Miles did not have a dozen more people sleeping at his home. He didn't have to go to class, practice and deal with problems at home because of the storms as Skyler Green, Ryan Willis and others players had to.

The players should have gotten the raise, particularly since players like Kyle Williams and Andrew Whitworth led last year's team as true coaches on the field. Williams called the LSU defense a joke after it blew a 21-0 halftime lead to Tennessee and lost 30-27 in overtime.

That was a bad Tennessee team that finished 5-6. Miles and his staff allowed Rick Clausen - an average quarterback with a weak arm - to beat LSU in Tiger Stadium. Such an effort should not garner a raise. Neither should the embarrassing performance in the 34-14 loss to Georgia in the SEC championship game.

The storm-torn Tigers went into that game tired because it was their 11th game in less than 11 weeks. Miles should have given the team much more time off in the week leading up to that game. At that point of the season, practice is not very important. Energy is, and LSU did not have it. Meanwhile, Miles tried to secretly fly to Dallas to charm Cotton Bowl officials. It backfired and LSU went to the Peach Bowl, which is clearly a minor bowl and not worthy of a major pay increase for someone leading talent-rich LSU.

Miles did not deserve a raise, and LSU did not need to give him one because he's not going anywhere. Miles will likely never garner the interest from NFL teams that went to former LSU coach Nick Saban, who would have never lost to Phillip Fulmer in Tiger Stadium. Miles was only a minor assistant in the NFL. He's not a hot commodity. He has his dream job.

What was LSU athletic director Skip Bertman thinking? Interestingly enough, it was Bertman who said he raised ticket prices this year instead of next because of the economic strains of the hurricane. If money was a problem, Skip, why give an already rich and undeserving coach more?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You!

5:02 AM  
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