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Could NCAA Ruling Impact Miles’ Contract At LSU?

LSU is waiting for the NCAA to rule on a set of sanctions the school self-imposed following recruiting violations committed in 2009.  The player was never used in a game.  The coach at the center of the violations was forced out as well.

And in the past few weeks there have been hints of other possible violations involving LSU… no proof, just talk.

For LSU, Glenn Guilbeau of The Shreveport Times writes that it might be a good thing they and Les Miles have not signed a new pact yet.  Here’s why:

Miles’ last contract had clauses in it regarding NCAA issues such as this.  It may be wise to see what the NCAA’s final ruling is before LSU signs off on Miles’ new contract, particularly if Miles and his agent George Bass of Dallas want another lofty buyout as in the previous contract.

Had LSU lost to Tennessee last season and continued on to a 7-5 type season as Miles had in 2008, he would have been in trouble.  To fire him after last season would have cost LSU $15 million — his salary ($3.75 million) multiplied by his number of years left (four) at the time.  LSU athletic department officials said last summer and this spring that LSU would prefer a permanent-figure buyout in the single digits not tied to salary.  The buyout Miles has had was added shortly after the euphoria of LSU’s 2007 national title and Miles deciding to remain at LSU after some interest from Michigan.

So depending on the NCAA’s ruling on the self-imposed sanctions — as well as any interest it might decide to show regarding other rumored events — the Tiger administration might finally have the leverage to whittle away at Miles’ big buyout.

Here’s the amazing thing, though — Miles is now 62-17 in Baton Rouge.  He has had one 12-win season and three 11-win seasons in his six years on campus.  His worst season was an 8-win campaign in 2008 in which the Tigers still finished third in the West and won their bowl game.

Yet due to a lack of style points, Miles remains a man whose buyout is discussed on an annual basis.  Even as he heads into a season in which his Tigers figure to compete for the SEC and BCS championships.

Go figure.


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