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Hill Apologizes; Miles Lets Team Vote; Tigers Vote RB Back Onto LSU Squad

gfx - they said itUpon reinstating running back Jeremy Hill to the LSU football team, Les Miles said there will be internal discipline for the twice-arrested star.  A suspension from game action remains a possibility according to the coach.

Whether or not Hill takes the field against TCU in the Tigers’ season opener, his LSU teammates were glad to see him back at practice yesterday.  It was no surprise that he had returned as the players themselves had voted to welcome him back.  Safety Craig Loston had this to say:

 

“We all said yes because Jeremy is a great guy and people make mistakes.  We always vote on everything.  Coach Miles doesn’t make decisions on his own.  He can do it but he always asks the team first.  That’s how we do things around here.”

 

So far the decision to let the team aid in decisions has worked out pretty well for Miles.  He’s 85-21 with two SEC titles and a BCS championship in eight seasons.

Sometimes being a “players’ coach” works out just fine on the field.

Whether or not Miles looks good for allowing his players to reinstate a guy who cold-cocked a man outside a bar while he was already serving probation for another crime… well, that’s another story.

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Vadal Alexander Chooses LSU

Offensive lineman Vadal Alexander from Buford (Ga.) High School committed to LSU on Monday.

Alexander chose LSU over offers from Alabama and Auburn. He gave the news to LSU coach Les Miles on Monday.

“It was great,” Alexander told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He was ecstatic. He was screaming and yelling, you know, only like Coach Miles can do. He is very outgoing. He was happy and he was definitely screaming.”

That could have been Auburn coach Gene Chizik screaming about Alexander’s commitment. He said he favored Auburn before his official visit to LSU this past weekend.

“It was one of those things that I just knew when I left from Louisiana on Sunday evening. It was the atmosphere, the coaches, and everything. There was nothing negative about LSU. It was all positive.”

Alexander is LSU’s 20th commitment for the class of 2012.

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Crowton Lands Maryland Job, LSU Looking For A New OC

LSU is officially in the market for a new offensive coordinator.

Gary Crowton told Les Miles at a staff meeting this morning that he had accepted the O-coordinator position at Maryland under new Terrapins coach Randy Edsall.

“It’s a new challenge in my coaching career and I’m excited about that, knowing that I left LSU, which is a great place,” Crowton told The New Orleans Times-Picayune.  Of course, many believe his decision to leave was mutually arrived at by the coach and Miles.  Crowton, however, says that’s not true.

“No, I never was (asked to leave).  I never ever felt pressure to be let go.  I always felt encouraged, Coach Miles told me after the (Cotton Bowl) game he was excited about coming back with two senior quarterbacks and Zach Mettenberger.  Never ever once was that ever discussed.  I never felt any pressure whatsoever.  My wife and I talked it over and I decided to take it.  Coach Miles gave me his blessings and gave me a hug, thanked me, and I thanked him and that was it.”

Crowton has a long history of success but he came under fire in Baton Rouge when his offense’s production dropped off in 2009 and 2010.  (As we noted yesterday, that might have had more to do with LSU’s quarterbacks than LSU’s quarterbacks coach.)

So who’s next in Baton Rouge?  FootballScoop.com reports that “sources tell us Les Miles has interest in TCU co-offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Justin Fuente and Washington offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier.”

Nussmeier and the Huskies put a scare into Miles’ Tigers 31-23 in 2009.  His background includes stops in both the CFL and NFL.

Fuente has been at TCU since 2007.  Originally hired as running backs coach, he took over as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before the ’09 season.  Interestingly, Fuente played quarterback at Oklahoma while Miles served as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.  Fuente finished his collegiate career at Murray State.

TigerBait.com — the Rivals site covering LSU — believes Miles “will consider both college and NFL assistants” for the Tigers’ vacancy.

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Miles-Michigan Rumors Heat Up

The facts: Les Miles met with Michigan officials last night.  That much has been confirmed by LSU officials.  A UM-painted jet landed in Baton Rouge yesterday afternoon and remained on the ground for five hours.  At that point, Michigan AD David Brandon returned to Ann Arbor.  Without Miles.

According to USA Today, LSU AD Joe Alleva met with Miles last night.  “LSU officials are talking with Coach Miles,” said associate AD Herb Vincent.  “They’re trying to keep him.”

Alleva said in a statement: “We continue to work with Coach Miles, and we remain committed to keeping him as the head coach of the LSU football program well into the future.”

The rumor: ESPN’s Joe Schad — who seems to run with a lot of one-source stories — reported that Miles would take the Wolverines’ job if it were offered.  (You might have heard that one a few dozen times during last night’s BCS Championship Game.)

It is still unknown whether or not Miles was offered the Michigan job last night. 

Yesterday he apparently told his players that he would listen to his alma mater out of respect, but he also told two of them, “I’m probably staying.”

“A high-ranking LSU official” told The New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Don’t worry, he’s not leaving.”

Asked by The Shreveport Times if LSU’s negotiations with Miles might kick into another gear — as they did in 2007 when Michigan was an option for the coach — Vincent said, “It’s similar to that.”

Reports indicate that Michigan is holding a team meeting for its squad this afternoon.  Whether or not they will meet their new coach at that meeting is anyone’s guess.

The Times-Picayune reports that LSU is offering to extend Miles’ contract past 2014.  The school is also willing to increase the coach’s buyout should he be let go.  Miles’ buyout — a massive figure once worth in the ballpark of $15 million — decreases after each season.

Tiger fan reaction to Miles’ possible departure has been split.

Meanwhile, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel declined an interview request from Michigan yesterday.  This could mean that he has no interest in the job… or that he knows the job is likely going to someone else.  The Detroit Free-Press lists Chris Peterson and Jon Gruden (of course) as candidates but says both are staying in their current jobs.  No mention of UM alum Brady Hoke of San Diego State by The Free-Press.

Miles is scheduled to be in Dallas today to speak at the American Football Coaches Association convention.  It’s possible that he could reconvene with Michigan reps there.

Former Tiger coach and current Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo told The Baton Rouge Advocate that the Michigan job has changed since Miles was last in Ann Arbor.

“This coach will have to win a division, the conference championship game, the Rose Bowl and the national championship game,” DiNardo said.  “The new Michigan coach will be under more pressure than any other coach in its history.  That being said, it’s still a great job.”

Exchange Rose for Sugar and Michigan sounds exactly like LSU… minus the great recruiting base.

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Happy 57th birthday, Coach Miles.

LSU
Content provided by And The Valley Shook.

Happy 57th birthday, Coach Miles.


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