How It Goes Down Comment Count

Brian August 4th, 2010 at 11:37 AM

les-miles scissors

The hire of David Brandon as Michigan's AD already put a stake through the heart of any dim chance Les Miles had at the head coaching job in Ann Arbor, but if it hadn't this should disqualify him($):

"I got called to coach Miles' office. I had no idea it was coming," Elliott Porter said of his being asked by LSU to 'grayshirt' this season and re-enroll next year. "He just told me that they didn't have room for me. I moved out of my dorm today and I am now back home trying to figure everything out. It's been a rough 24 hours." …

"I have to win a waiver, but it shouldn't be a problem," Porter said. "It's unfair how they told me at the last minute." …

"I want to be somewhere that I am wanted," Porter said. "I understand how things are going at LSU, and they didn't have room. To me what happened today wasn't fair. But it's how things go. It's a business. And I fully understand that now."

That's a Rivals article from the Tennessee site; Porter is thinking about signing with UT. Meanwhile, LSU is lying its ass off about the situation:

"Coach made every attempt to get him to stay but the young man wanted to leave," LSU media relations director Michael Bonnette said.

…every attempt except for actually giving him the scholarship promised six months ago. As an aside, one of the Google News hits for Porter is an irrelevant piece from New Zealand serendipitously titled "Slave labor system rotten to the core."

While that's a little over the top—those excitable Kiwis—this is a clear-cut case of a school signing too many kids and jerking one unlucky one around when too many qualify. Porter had a frickin' dorm room and is still trying to find a new place to land on August 4th. As points out, college football is explicitly not a business. This is supposedly the reason the kids are amateurs, and anyone who gets the impression it is a business might take a huge amount of money from shady characters or enjoy a party in South Beach someone else is paying for. By allowing coaches to take chances like this the NCAA is degrading respect for its other rules.

More importantly, they're treating athletes like meat. By putting himself in a situation where there was a possibility he'd have to cut a kid in August, Miles has established that his job is more important than his word or the players he recruits. I'm not one of those guys who thinks Michigan's head coach has to be raised from birth by helmeted ascetics to learn the Chi Of The Iso in the Hidden Temple of Hardass, but that's a bridge too far for me. I'll be at the head of the mob if he ever gets hired by Michigan, which he won't so whatever.

Also, the usual: the NCAA needs to make LOIs binding for the school, too, for at least one year and preferably two. They can increase the scholarship limit slightly if necessary to compensate. No school should ever benefit from signing a kid to a LOI they do not honor.



August 4th, 2010 at 11:43 AM ^

Well, I guess you and Lester will always have that trapper keeper photo!

Otherwise, well said and agree one hundred percent. It's funny how its a business, unless its something the student-athlete does/receives.

Blue in Seattle

August 4th, 2010 at 1:44 PM ^

I remember as a kid hearing this song on the radio all the time;


"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" is a song that was written, composed, and performed by Canadian Gordon Lightfoot in commemoration of the sinking of the bulk carrier SS Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975. It was inspired by the Newsweek article on the event, "The Cruelest Month," which appeared in the issue of November 24, 1975.[1]

The song originally appeared on Lightfoot's 1976 album, Summertime Dream, and was later released as a single. The release hit #1 in his native Canada (on the RPM national singles survey) on November 20, 1976, almost exactly one year after the appearance of the article that inspired it.[2] In the U.S., the single reached #2 on the Billboard pop chart in November 1976, making it Lightfoot's second most successful single (in terms of chart position) in that country, following "Sundown," which reached number one in 1974. "Wreck" peaked at number 40 in the UK Singles Chart.


and this also happened to be about the same time that I started watching Michigan Football with my dad, turning down the volume so we could hear Bob Ufer over the radio, and then listening to the back and forth of my Dad shouting about every 5th play, and my Mom shouting "quiet down in there"

sniff, so many memories, <tear>


August 4th, 2010 at 2:34 PM ^

I used to play this on guitar for my campers up on Crystal Lake. I spiced it up a bit more than the recorded version so it comes off at kind of the same pace as Dylan's "The Hurricane." This song, and "Can't Help But Wonder (Where I'm Bound)" sound much better around a campfire when sung badly than on record.


August 4th, 2010 at 11:52 AM ^

I'm not one of those guys who thinks Michigan's head coach has to be raised from birth by helmeted ascetics to learn the Chi Of The Iso in the Hidden Temple of Hardass

This sounds like a great idea for the next hype video.


August 4th, 2010 at 11:55 AM ^

Make this a major recruiting violation.  I know it would be hard to police because you really don't know your scholarship availability until later in the summer but they can't let this practice go on any further.   Mr Porter will no have to transfer and sit out a year because LSU decided they did not want him anymore.  No harm done to LSU but the kid takes a dong punch.

The NCAA needs to investigate situations like Alabama from two years ago, Miami with Anderson and Henderson, and now with LSU just giving the kid the boot.  Investigate and punish the institution with 2 lost scholarships for every "incident" and lose those scholarships for four years. 


August 4th, 2010 at 1:09 PM ^

The NCAA is an advocate of it's member institutions, not of the student athletes it purports to represent.

The only reason a school gets hit with sanctions is because breaking the rules would give an unfair competitive advantage.

  • Practicing too much = not fair to other teams
  • academically ineligible players = not fair to other teams
  • Improper benefits = not fair to other teams

And so on. The NCAA couldn't care less about the well being of the players.


August 4th, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

I think this move is total BS, but the NCAA condones the practice implicitly by not enforcing the 25 recruit limit. In fact, the penalty levied against USC will be undermined by that down the road; they'll just sign huge classes a few years in a row and make havy use of redshirts.

Also, the competitive advantage you reference doesn't manifest itself until it's too late. There's usually some kind of slippage in the interim between signing day and "count" day. Whether it's because a recruit doesn't qualify or isn't admitted (Dorsey) or because a player gets in trouble somehow (LSU or 'Bama might've cut Stonum for violating his probation), the number of scholarships available changes.

Actually, my main problem with the move is that the players are the ones that get screwed and often get blindsided by it. If a kid signed a provisional LOI that made it clear that they would have to grey shirt or transfer if a sholarship doesn't open up, I have no beef. I still wouldn't like it, but that's a matter of taste not of justice.

The fix is easy. Make "count" day and signing day one and the same. Problem solved.


August 4th, 2010 at 4:22 PM ^

If a player has to sign an LOI with a school, and is "punished" by having to sit out a year unless the school releases him if he changes his mind, then the school should have similar sanctions if they oversign and turn a player away. (Maybe loss of a scholarship and having to pay the tuition etc. for the player for at least a year.)

My comment above was just adding to your logic train of thought, as to why the NCAA should enforce this.

Oversigning is unethical.

st barth

August 4th, 2010 at 12:04 PM ^

College sports are not a business.  Admittedly, there are elements of business involved but ultimately these are state sponsored institutions that need to hold themselves to a higher standard.


August 4th, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

As mad as on-field failure can make me, if something like this were to happen here I can't imagine my anger.  It would be far worse than losing any amount of games to any team.  I would be storming Hoover and State St, torch and pitchfork in hand.


August 4th, 2010 at 12:14 PM ^

I hope the fans enjoy themselves.


Edit - there is no end to the amount of crap I have put up with for suggesting that being "out of touch" on  a boat is never an accident. Excuse me while I go off in the corner and gloat for a second or two.


August 4th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

You could do worse than Miles... a lot worse.  But, I think he is overrated by his fans.  Ever hear of a blind squirrel finding an acorn?  I think Les is a vision-impaired squirrel who has been showered with them.

Prior to his LSU hire, his most significant achievements were a couple of wins over Oklahoma U.  Really -- his reputation was based mostly on two games.

He then walked into a talent-rich program near its peak and won a national championship (over "Slowhio State," as the SEC fans would say) with someone else's upperclass players and two regular-season losses (one to Kentucky).  (Aside: Compare this to RichRod's set-up.)

Now, I don't think just any coach could step in and get those results.  What has he done since then, though?  Recruit well?  Sure, but look at what's in his backyard.  The pipelines were established before his arrival.

Please enlighten me (seriously) if I'm missing anything.


August 4th, 2010 at 12:33 PM ^

I'm not sure that I understand all of the hating on Les Miles.

You state that his reputation was based on two wins over Oklahoma but RR's reputation was built largely on one win over Georgia.

Sure, Les walked into a good situation at LSU but is that fault?  He built some "damn strong" football teams (I believe those were his words).  His teams have consistenly been competitive at the top level.  No, they haven't won the SEC recently.  However, OSU has won the Big Ten five consecutive times but they probably wouldn't have won the SEC in any of those years either.

Les puts a good, entertaining product on the field.  He makes some questionable judgement calls......some of them work, some of them don't.  We all know a little something about questional judgement (fake punt vs. MSU, 4th and 10 vs Purdue, Sheridan pass play before the half vs Utah.....).

I just don't understand why there's so much hate against Miles and Harbaugh (regardless of his comments) when they were both actual Michigan players.  They have MUCH more invested into the program than anybody commenting on the board.





August 4th, 2010 at 4:23 PM ^

Harbaugh cashed in his UM investment about three years ago to help pay for the $50K crapper in Palo Alto.

"It’s a legendary program in college football. Just what it’s done. I have so much respect for this university. It’s kind of the last bastion of what college football is all about. Much like the service academies. I think college football needs Stanford to be good"

So if Stanford is the last bastion of all that is good and just in the world of college football, how could he then sully himself by leaving to come back to coach at Michigan?


August 5th, 2010 at 3:27 PM ^

Harbaugh's talking up his program.  That's what he's supposed to do.  Every coach tries to sell his school as a special place. 

The bottom line is that Les Miles and Jim Harbaugh have much more claim to the legacy of Michigan football than anybody contributing to this board.  In my mind, Michigan football is essentially about the men who came before you.  Miles and Harbaugh made significant contributions to making Michigan football what it is today.


August 4th, 2010 at 1:01 PM ^

Two Oklahoma State victories over top ten Oklahoma teams are roughly analogous to two straight MSU victories over Michigan in the Schembechler era. They haven't beaten Oklahoma since, and prior to Miles they hadn't beaten Oklahoma since John Blake was there.

It's not a great analogy, though. Historically Oklahoma State has done worse against Oklahoma than Michigan State has against us.


August 4th, 2010 at 9:05 PM ^

Excluding the Schnellenberger/Blake era (when Oklahoma was terrible), Oklahoma dominated Oklahoma State to a greater extent than Michigan has dominated Michigan State. Oklahoma's all-time record against Oklahoma State is 77-16-7 or so, compared to Michigan's 67-30-5 record against Michigan State. Oklahoma State hasn't beaten Oklahoma since Miles left.

Which is why I think Miles two victories over Oklahoma were impressive.


August 4th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

I'm probably forgetting something already discussed here, but why does Brandon filling the AD position kill Miles' chances of coaching U-M?


August 4th, 2010 at 12:31 PM ^

just a crazy guess that Brian believes Brandon is completely opposed to the sort of oversigning that Miles and others in the SEC do on a routine basis. From everything I've heard come out of the mouth of David Brandon, I think Brian is 100% accurate in his assessment of DB's views on this, and what it would mean for the chances of Miles ever coaching here.

Even if RR were to leave after this year or next, I think Miles is too old by now. His game management skills are suspect and I'd rather go in another direction if, God forbid, RR doesn't survive. I hope all this is moot anyhow.

I will predict this: Miles will not be at LSU beyond 2012. LSU has lost twice in a row to Florida, Alabama and Ole Miss, and once they start mounting up beyond that, the LSU fan base isn't going to sit quiet. I wouldn't be surprised at all if RR is still coaching at UM after Miles is fired.

Bill in Birmingham

August 4th, 2010 at 3:43 PM ^

I am not sure whether he is too old or not. But I would suggest that there is a very distinct possibility that he will be fired by LSU this year if he does not have at least nine wins. That would not make him such an attractive candidate.

However, I genuinely believe the point will be moot. I think RR turns it around this year and we start being where we're used to being next year and for the long haul.

Wolverine Incognito

August 4th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

Wow, I thought Miles' speech to the media to refute Herbstreit's claim that he was gonna be Michigan's coach was great, but I just lost ALL respect for Miles. 

I hope LSU goes down hard, and Miles is fired. 

Miles has horrible clock management skills, too.


August 4th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

Just another reason that I am happy that we did not end up with him.  Not only has he proven that he cannot manage a game clock to save his life (or at least win a critical game), but he has repeatedly shown a lack of character.  We should all be thanking Herbie for messing that one up . . .


August 4th, 2010 at 12:31 PM ^

I'll be at the head of the mob if he ever gets hired by Michigan, which he won't so whatever.

Sounds like a wager to me. I'd be aiming to be in the front of that mob myself. I always figured there was a reason that Les was kind of the black sheep of the Bo coaching tree and had wandered rather far from the nest.