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LSU Chancellor Praises Miles’ Lack Of Ego

LSU chancellor Michael Martin made an interesting comment regarding football coach Les Miles in The Shreveport Times today.  See if any other SEC coach — or at least a coach’s reputation — pops into mind as you read this:

“He never waves that paycheck in my face.  His ego is controlled.  He doesn’t feel he has to run the whole show.  I know of other coaches who are incredibly control-oriented.  And I know coaches who have two personalities — the coaching one and the personal one.  Les is exactly the same guy no matter if he’s coaching or not.  You don’t have to guess with Les.”

Hmmm.  An “incredibly control-oriented” coach.  Might that be a reference to the guy Miles will face in the BCS Championship Game on January 9th?

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Report: LSU 3 To Be Reinstated Today

Yesterday, LSU chancellor Michael Martin said three suspended Tiger footballers would have to “get their act together” before being reinstated to Les Miles team.

He said that the ultimate decision would be made by AD Joe Alleva and himself.  Here’s the quote we showed you yesterday:

“Fortunately for them and the team, they have two weeks to get their act together because we have a bye week.  They have been directed to some counseling, and they will now be subject to greater scrutiny for the remainder of their time at LSU.”

Well apparently Spencer Ware, Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon have already made it to their counseling sessions because CBSSports is reporting that all three are expected to be reinstated to the squad today.

This after Martin’s comments led many to believe that “if the game was this Saturday, the players may not be able to compete the process for reinstatement in time.”  It sure sounded like that, anyway.

Because the SEC has not led the way in intercollegiate athletics by implementing a league-wide, uniform drug policy, much of the buzz surrounding next week’s game o’ the century will involve whether or not those three players have been given a lighter sentence than they would usually receive simply because a big game is on the horizon.

Like it or not — fair or not — that’s certainly the way things appear.

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3 Suspended LSU Players Not Cleared For Bama Game Yet; Time For A Uniform Drug Policy In The SEC

LSU chancellor Michael Martin said this morning that Les Miles will not make the final decision on the availability of currently-suspended Spencer Ware, Tyrann Mathieu, and Tharold Simon as the team prepares for its monster game with Alabama in two weeks.

“The athletic director will ultimately make the decision, and he’ll consult with me.  Fortunately, for them and the team, they have two weeks to get their act together because we have a bye week.  They have been directed to some counseling and they will now be subject to greater scrutiny for the remainder of their time at LSU.”

In other words, expect the three to play.  If missed counseling sessions cost these guys their playing time then they’re dumber than they already appear to be. 

Gannett Louisiana points out that they reported last week that LSU’s drug policy calls for a “suspension from up to 15 percent of countable contests” after a second failed drug test.  Players are not suspended after an initial failed drug test.

(They’re correct.  Gannett Louisiana did point that out last week.  One day after we pointed it out right here.)

The assumption is that the players must have tested positive for a second time because they were suspended.  It is possible, however, that Miles (or the school) suspended the three players after their first failed tests… which is his right. 

Pay attention to the Chancellor Martin’s words, too.  Players are tested more often after a failed drug test.  The chancellor’s comment that the players will “now be subject to greater scrutiny” suggests that they did just fail their first test.

But we have no way of knowing one way or the other. 

For that reason, we continue to push for the Southeastern Conference to create a uniform testing and punishment policy for all its member institutions.  The cost of the system could easily be covered by some of those millions of dollars that roll into the league each year from CBS and ESPN.

It’s time for all SEC schools to play by the same rules and enforce the same punishments when it comes to drug use.  Otherwise, you leave situations like these open to speculation.  And that just breeds conspiracy theories, something we all need less of these days.

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LSU’s Chancellor Wants Proof That An Expanded SEC Would Be Better

Over the weekend, Scott Rabalais of The Baton Rouge Advocate caught up with LSU chancellor Michael Martin to talk about expansion.  And unlike most of his fellow presidents, Martin had plenty to say:

“It isn’t all about money.  I want to know about travel for all student-athletes and if that school really fits into our mix, whether they share the same values that we do. … I’ve always thought a 12-team league for the SEC is a good one.  It’s fairly easy travel and we’ve been successful competitively.  Prove to me a new model is better than what we have and we’ll put it to a vote.”

The chancellor also provided yet another clue that the SEC is thinking about adding two teams at the moment, not four.  “It doesn’t make sense to add one school, to be a 13-team league,” he said.  “If Texas A&M, then who else?”

As we’ve said before, the final call on expansion — who gets in… if anyone gets in — will be made by academicians and many, many factors will influence their final votes.

Look at Martin’s photo at left.  Now you tell us if you think that gentleman is going to make such a major decision based solely upon who plays dynamite football.

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NCAA Violations Might Have Nixed Big Buyout Clause From Miles’ Contract

Les Miles current contract features a buyout of $3.75 million per year times the number of years left on the deal.  Yesterday, The Baton Rouge Advocate wrote that Miles’ contract ran through 2012.   Actually, it runs through 2014 and an extension to the deal — as of yet unsigned — is expected to take the pact through 2017.

But that jackpot buyout might not be part of the picture moving forward.

Glenn Guilbeau of Gannett Louisiana writes that because of the NCAA’s recent findings against Miles’ program — the Tigers will spend a year on probation due to major violations involving Akiem Hicks and DJ McCarthy — the school could fire Miles without giving him a big buyout.

His current deal states:

“University may terminate this agreement for cause.  Cause for this purpose shall mean a finding or determination by the NCAA of one or more major, significant or repetitive violations by Coach.  All compensation, including salary benefits and other renumeration set forth in this contract incidental to Coach’s employment cease upon termination, other than the compensation owed Coach for services performed by Coach prior to termination.”

When asked about the buyout, LSU chancellor Michael Martin said, “NCAA violations would negate the buyout.”

The Miles’ situation — if Guilbeau’s interpretation is correct… and we assume it is — would be unique.  In most cases, when a school fires a coach over major violations it does so immediately.  In Miles’ case, Guilbeau suggests that the buyout has already been rendered moot by the violations.  So even if LSU keeps its coach now and decides to fire him three years down the road for win/loss issues, school officials will still be able to point to the NCAA findings of 2011 as a reason not to fork over that $3.75 million buyout.

Gotta wonder if Miles’ attorney agrees with that interpretation.

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LSU Chancellor Thinks SEC Can Make Big Changes On Oversigning

Somewhere out there, Nick Saban just put his fist through a wall.

Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News reports that LSU chancellor Michael Martin believes there are enough votes among the SEC’s presidents and chancellors to “at least send a message” about the problem of oversigning in college football.

“It may end up being we’ll try all of this and watch it,” Martin said, referencing — apparently — the league’s full array of anti-oversigning proposals.  “But I think we have to set in place a policy that says when you sign a kid, the chance that he may be grayshirted is clear in his mind and in his parents’ mind so they don’t end up spending a summer on campus and then they’re gone.”

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LSU Answers NCAA Questions About Self-Reported Violations

Oh.  Great.  For a second there I thought we might actually have to talk about some actual basketball or football.  (Yes, that’s sarcasm.) But…

LSU released yesterday a lengthy response to the NCAA regarding recruiting and extra benefits violations it self-reported initially back in March of 2010.

In December, the NCAA sent LSU a “notice of violations” tied the self-reported incidents involving to former assistant football coach DJ McCarthy, former D-lineman Akiem Hicks and several non-coaching football staff members.

There were seven primary allegations in the letter and the NCAA had asked LSU follow-up questions about each accusation.  Yesterday, the NCAA got LSU’s answers.  The body will now review LSU’s reponses and decide between April 15th and 17th whether to accept the school’s self-imposed sanctions or add to them.  The sanctions already imposed include scholarship reductions in the year ahead.

“I am confident we have been thorough in our response to the NCAA, and I remain pleased with the way our athletics compliance staff has handled this process from the very start,” LSU chancellor Michael Martin said.  “It shows LSU’s commitment to following the rules of the NCAA.”

LSU’s response was a whopping 126 pages in length.

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