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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can anyone get this right?

BATON ROUGE - I was amazed at the number of mistakes the Miami Herald made and other Miami media members when Nick Saban went from LSU to the Miami Dolphins two years ago.

It's happening again from Detroit to Bristol, Conn.

"LSU head football coach Les Miles appears to be a Michigan coaching candidate again," it was written in the Detroit Free Press recently. "Miles had a phone conversation with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and school president Mary Sue Coleman, according to several people with knowledge of the call."

The story never fully supported that first sentence, however, and even contradicted that sentence later with this sentence: "The reason for Michigan's reconnection with Miles is uncertain."

Uh, if the reason for Michigan's reconnection with Miles is uncertain, why is the Free Press saying that Miles "appears to be a Michigan coachng candidate again?"

Unbelievable. What a reach. And that's what an editor I know said.

They talked on the phone! Miles is a Michigan alum. He's going to take the call.

That doesn't mean he's a candidate again. Before Miles' statement later Tuesday that said he was talking to Michigan about other candidates, I told a national reporter that could be one of the things they were talking about. It is very common for coaches to tell athletic department officials who might be a good hire. But this national reporter was convinced Miles was throwing his name back in the hat without any evidence. "What else could they be talking about?" he said.

It's amazing how media members are so - to use a Saban phrase - "self absorbed."

Michigan athletic director Bill Martin might have just wanted to clear the air with a rising alum of his school. Maybe he wanted to apologize if people at his school or close to his school caused a distraction for Miles before the SEC title game.

Maybe Miles apologized for not getting to talk to Martin. Miles really did want to sit and talk about the job, even though that doesn't mean he would've taken it.

Maybe Miles said to keep him in mind the next time Michigan hires a coach.

Maybe Martin wanted to apologize for the alleged behavior of former Michigan coach/stick-in-the-mud Lloyd Carr - also known as Johnny Carson's old man character on the Tonight Show. You know, "In my day, we ate dirt and we liked it."

Maybe Martin wanted to know if Miles had been more interested in the Michigan job if Carr wasn't around to perhaps stab him in the back and/or continue stabbing Miles in the back. Maybe Martin wanted to know if the growing number of coaches who are turning down interest from Michigan also don't want to be around a hovering Carr.

The latest was Dolphins' coach and Michigan man Cam Cameron, who was best man at Miles' wedding.

Maybe Martin and Coleman just wanted to hear it person-to-person that Miles was not interested. Maybe Martin and Coleman just wanted to make damn sure that Miles' door was shut. Remember, before they called Miles they had just been turned down by Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. Rutgers! I wonder what Schembechler would have thought of that? Somewhere, Woody Hayes is laughing.

Maybe Martin was trying to save face by getting a story out there that Michigan is still trying to get Miles after blowing its chance two weeks ago. Had Michigan waited until the Monday after the SEC title game to ask permission to speak to Miles, it may have had a better chance. It probably would not have gotten Miles. But it may have at least got an interview, and everyone would know Martin did his best instead of his best boating.

Maybe they were just talking. Maybe Michigan wished Miles luck against Ohio State. Maybe Michigan hit Miles up for a donation since he's about to make a lot more money.
Maybe now this story will go away. Maybe one day ESPN will get its facts straight. While discussing the phone call on Tuesday, ESPN's John Saunders said, "He (Miles) has reached out and talked to Michigan."

No, Mr. Saunders. Michigan called Miles. Miles only "reached out" to answer the phone. Again, it's his alma mater. He's going to talk to school officials if they call. That doesn't mean he's up for the job. The guy answered my call on Tuesday.
Later, an ESPN graphic detailed Miles' contract extension and made another mistake.

Saunders said a bonus was added if Miles wins the national championship next month along with other bonus goals. Wrong again. The bonus clauses have not changed. They've been in there since 2006.

It's getting obvious that certain media outlets need Michigan to get a new coach more than Michigan needs to get a new coach.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ken said...

Glenn,
We should PRAY that he still IS a candidate.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous spinoza said...

NEW SPORTS TERM: "Pulling a Saban" = coach gives up on a failing Pro team, and goes back to coaching college where it is easier to have a winning record. (+/- lies/denials of being a coward/giving up).

(Originated by: Nick Saban who gives up on the Miami Dolphins and runs for cover to coach the Alabama Crimson Tide).

5:09 AM  

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