I did not make this headline up
Les Miles: Uh... hello?
Mary Sue Coleman: Hi, Les. It's Mary Sue Coleman. Let me patch in Bill Martin.
Bill Martin: (faintly) Hello? Hello?
BM: (faintly) Hello?
MSC: Turn the phone around, Bill.
MSC: YOU'RE SPEAKING INTO THE WRONG END OF THE PHONE.
BM: (louder) Oh.
MSC: Les, as you know, the University of Michigan is looking for a head coach. We would like any prospective candidates to have a strong understanding of the program's history, an established track record of success--
BM: -- and sailing experience --
MSC: -- as a college football head coach, and --
BM: -- any other sort of boating-type experience. Motor. Catamaran. You know. Water-type things.
MSC: and a strong rapport with his charges. Anyway, Les, you've just won the SEC, have a 36-6 record in three years at LSU, and are well loved by your program. You also lettered twice under Bo and love this program more than any other. So...
BM: ... do you know anyone that fits our criteria?
Miles: Uh... me?
BM: I didn't see any jib or mizzenmast experience on your resume.
Miles: Right. That's because I'm a football coach. I coach football.
BM: In fact, your resume made no reference to sailing whatsoever. So you're out, asshole.
MSC: I think what Bill is trying to say is that we would like to offer you--
BM: --the opportunity to tell us who might be our perfect candidate. Reminder: Michigan ties, success, sailing.
Miles: No, sorry. I don't know anyone who fits that criteria.
BM: Well screw you, buddy!
MSC: Bill... next time let me do the talking.
BM: Lloyd says Brady Hoke dresses up like Long John Silver on most Tuesdays. Let's hire him.
Press release from the LSU official site:
BATON ROUGE -- LSU football coach Les Miles issued the following statement on Tuesday regarding the conversation he had with Michigan last week:
"I had a conversation with Michigan last week that covered a wide range of topics. I was doing nothing more than helping them with their search for a football coach, just as any loyal alumnus might do. It was nothing more than that.
"I'm not a candidate for that job and I will not be a candidate for the job. I was only assisting them in their search for a coach. I have a great job at a wonderful place, a place that my family calls home. It's time that Michigan goes on with their search for a football coach. I'll say it again, I'm going to be the coach at LSU next season."
I don't believe that explanation for a hot second and there's always the chance of a post-bowl 180, but the flame dims once again.
The Free Press confirms a part of what was here yesterday:
Louisiana State coach Les Miles appears to be a Michigan coaching candidate again.
Miles had a phone conversation Friday morning with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and school president Mary Sue Coleman, according to several people with knowledge of the call.
(Hey, look... anonymous sourcing.) This was inevitable given how widespread the information was, but the heat will be on Miles once again after his pre-SECCG performance. Read what you will into this: Michigan had no comment, Miles' agent had no comment, LSU's AD...
"He and Bo Schembechler were real close," Bertman said. "If Bo Schembechler were alive, I doubt he could have got him to go to Michigan. It's hard for people who don't live in the South to understand."
In another article:
"They're frustrated because they didn't get what they want," Bertman said. "You can't get Les Miles -- the guy signed his contract. It's over."
Said contract, of course, doesn't increase Miles' buyout one cent.
Bertman's turning into sort of an ass about these things. On Michigan's ability to contact Miles:
University of Michigan athletic director Bill Martin received permission once from his Louisiana State counterpart Skip Bertman to talk to LSU coach Les Miles and didn't use it.
If Martin has any interest in talking to Miles now, the athletic director will have to ask again.
"I'd be under the assumption that the permission to speak to Les Miles has expired," Bertman said Monday. "We've signed the contract."
Of course, three years ago when it was LSU looking for a coach, things were different:
Oklahoma State Head Coach Les Miles has met with an LSU representative, despite Oklahoma State denying LSU permission to interview Miles. Since Miles contract does not require the university's OK for him to interview, LSU is proceeding with Miles consent. Miles has a one year buyout clause in his contract, or approximately $1-1.5 million. The fact that Miles is (apparently) moving forward with LSU despite OSU denying permission signals that he is very interested in hearing what the Tigers have to say.
They're like Klingons or Commies: all they understand is strength. To negotiate is weakness. Take everything from them, and take it whenever. No quarter.
I mean, seriously: what's sure to be an irritating round of media people declaring they're shocked, shocked that Miles would even think about possibly considering the Michigan job has already begun. Sports radio was ripping him this morning. The correct response to this: who cares? There are no ethics in these situations, as southern schools amply demonstrate every time someone gets fired, LSU foremost among them. If the Tigers are looking for a new coach, all these delicate ethics will get thrown out the window. New coach requires virgin sacrifices? Someone call up the evangelicals!
Grist. So... will Miles take it and how serious is the offer? I don't know. Many people complained about the "lowball" 2.5 million figure, but other reports have the figure closer to three million when incentives are factored in. Given that Coleman was involved in Ferentz's acquisition and extremely large you-stay-here-now contract, I think her involvement is a major positive and believe Michigan will/has offered an extremely competitive salary.
Again, it's hard to parse what's real and what's not: I've heard Miles has turned the offer down and it's really truly over; I've heard he's probably going to take it if he can work out the MNC game stuff. Who knows? And why did West Virginia have to eat it against the 'Stache? Damn you, Pat White's dislocated thummmmmmmb!
One thing worth repeating: for whatever reason, Brian Kelly is never going to get even a cursory look.
I've long since discarded the idea any information can be considered solid in the ever-shifting sands of a coaching search, especially one as schizophrenic as Michigan's, but... yeah: several previously reliable people have told me that Mary Sue Coleman has gotten directly involved with the search and there exists a solid offer out to one Les Miles.
I was debating whether or not to mention this -- the fear of things falling apart and Miles talking about his damn strong team while talking about misinformation on MGoBlog, etc. -- but when I guested on EDSBS live to talk about the coaching search, Orson was not only unsurprised that Miles was still a possibility but named the exact hypothetical salary hypothetically offered on hypothetical Friday, $2.5 million dollars. So it's not exactly top secret anymore. Yesterday morning Sam Webb and Michael Taylor were discussing it on WTKA, too. A secrets go, this one is pretty open.
The set of things that seem most likely to be true at this time:
- Miles has an offer for $2.5 million a year.
- He's got a few days to consider it.
- The main hangups appear to be assistant pay and the role of Carr in his program.
- Martin has been at least partially usurped.
Thing which seems completely implausible but given the sailboat thing cannot be ruled out -- nothing can be ruled out anymore:
- The anti-Miles faction in the AD is pushing Brady Hoke heavily.
Thing as of yet undetermined:
- If Miles will accept the offer.
So there you go.
Thanks to a helpful reader, I tracked down the Dan Patrick podcast with the Les Miles interview. First, a clarification: Miles did not say "I was loyal to Michigan, Michigan was not loyal to me." Dan Patrick said that later.
First, the relevant section of the Miles interview:
The Free Press transcript was from a portion of the interview replayed on the third hour of the show, in which he hammers at Miles for this Michigan provision in his contract. Miles seemed confused by the questioning, and with good reason: Patrick misunderstands the provision completely. He thinks it's an out like the one Urban Meyer supposedly had for M/ND/OSU; it is not. There is an extra punitive buyout in Miles' contract if he accepts the Michigan job. So his Tough Questions about it make no sense.
There is some buzz that Michigan, pressured by fans and former players, is finally talking to Miles seriously, but this interview doesn't seem to be a "please hire me, please" plea like it was reputed to be.
FOR GOD'S SAKE STAY UNDER THE ROCK!
If you insist on coming out, a recap of events to date:
Meanwhile, Miles was on the Dan Patrick Show this morning; there are unconfirmed reports Miles said "I was loyal to Michigan, but they were not loyal to me." If he said that... I mean, whoah. Unfortunately this might have been misheard; the Free Press has a transcript of portions up but does not include the line.