• LSUBEAT.com • Schedules • Depth Chart • Recruits • LSU in NFL • LSU Gear

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Get Ready for Miles to Michigan Again

BATON ROUGE - Rich Rodriguez is not long for Michigan. He will not make it to 2010. Some great reporting by the Detroit Free Press has uncovered that Rodriguez has been breaking NCAA rules regarding the 20-hour rule and off-season workouts. Yes all you apologists, most schools do break these rules, but the schools who historically get caught by newspapers and the NCAA are those doing it so blatantly that one does not have to be an investigative reporter to find out. This is why Alabama has so often gotten into trouble with the NCAA since the early 1990s.

Rodriguez was already a troubled coach before this happened. Unhappy Michigan power brokers may seize this opportunity. Rodriguez had a disastrous, 3-9 first season in 2008 as did his offense. He's a bit of a rough hick from West Virginia for the blue bloods of the maize and blue.

He was a bad fit at a place where fit probably means too much in this day and age. Unless he has a miraculous season of something like 9-3 or better, he may be gone.

Should that happen, Michigan will try again to consider LSU coach Les Miles, who would be a perfect fit. Miles loves LSU, loves being here, loves living here. But he is Michigan through and through. Unlike less honest coaches. Miles speaks lovingly of Michigan whenever he gets a chance. He refreshingly did that when his name was up for the job in 2007. Had Michigan handled its coaching search more prudently and discreetly two years ago, it would have had a better shot at Miles. Miles didn't want to go to Michigan in late 2007, but he wanted to at least listen. He felt he owed his alma mater and his former teammates that. He said he wanted to talk to Michigan the day before the SEC championship game at a press conference. LSU officials heard that and quickly finalized a deal with Miles that night - a deal that LSU officials and Miles' people had been working on for weeks.

The deal was not struck on the morning of the SEC title game, which is what ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit said happened when LSU got "proactive" after Herbstreit's initial horrendous mistake on GameDay that morning in which he had Miles already going to Michigan. Still waiting for ESPN to run a retraction for Herbstreit's reporting at that time, by the way.

Miles got not one penny more for his dance with Michigan in his next LSU contract that was signed early in 2008. All the money that brought Miles from $2.2 million in 2007 to $3.75 million in 2008 was from built-in bonus clauses having to do with winning SEC and national championships, which Miles won. Miles didn't use Michigan to get LSU to bring the money truck by his house. He would have gotten all that money had Michigan not made a coaching change. There are still national media members out there who don't know this.

As a proud Michigan alum, Miles felt like he owed it to Michigan not to dismiss any interest immediately. Miles, an economics graduate, also is smart. The Michigan dance made Miles look good to LSU officials, who were upset with the loss against Arkansas that season. Miles wanted some assurances from LSU if he lost to Tennessee in the SEC title game, and he got them.
Miles still loves Michigan. If athletic director Bill Martin wants to talk to Miles late this year, he'll be able to, and Miles deserves that opportunity to listen to Michigan. Martin might be wise to hire a search firm this time around for discretion, though reputable search firms with their clients' wishes and not theirs at heart, are hard to find.

If Michigan comes after Miles, my feeling is Miles will say no to Michigan, but both sides should have the chance to talk about it without ESPN and Detroit newspapers making mistake after mistake.

If Miles is rolling along to another 10- or 11-win season this December and Michigan realizes his worth, it could get interesting. Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville will be in the picture as well.


Post a Comment

<< Home