Just like old times trying to figure out what Les Miles is up to
Word on the streets is that LSU this week will play … uh … Rice, I believe it is, but frankly it’s hard not to look right past the pesky Owls and already be thinking about … Kansas.
Stay with me here.
Your old friend Les Miles, if you believe the rumors, is threatening to get back into college football.
Well, Kansas, anyway.
But it qualifies as a certified college and it does have football of some sort, so there you are.
Kansas, as it so often does, even has an opening for a head football coach. It fired somebody, possibly David Beaty, perhaps for improving on last year’s one-win season with three victories already this year. That, in fact, matches the win total for the previous three years.
Anyway, Les the Mad Hatter’s name has come up as a strong possibility and …
Whoa. By the oddest of foolish luck, just as I was grinding through that paragraph, danged if an official email from LSU didn’t pop up on my laptop.
“LSU and Les Miles agree to Final Settlement,” it screamed.
You couldn’t make this stuff up. So that takes care of one point I was going to make.
Miles, of course, has been getting a monthly check for $130,000 from LSU since being fired four games into the 2016 season.
There was still $6.5 million left in that payout, which would have run until 2023.
So Thursday LSU announced that both parties had agreed on a one-time lump sum payment of $1.5 million and call it slick.
LSU’s release called it a “mutually agreed upon goal and a very positive process from beginning to end.”
Positive? For who?
I’m certainly no accountant, but Miles’ alleged shortcoming was always clock management, not handling money.
So now it’s “very positive” for him to leave $5 million on the table?
Of course, the original agreement with all those monthly payments was contingent on Miles acting in good faith to keep seeking employment, which he seemed to be doing (although I don’t know how you could ever prove it).
Whatever money from odd jobs he rustled up would offset the payments.
But $1.5 million now vs. $6.5 million spread over five years?
That’s a lot of couch time forfeited.
It certainly helped finance that budding acting career. He didn’t have to work in a coffee shop between gigs.
Yet in the announcement, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said. “One of the challenges of the buyout … was there just wasn’t a lot of incentive to move on to other things. We were looking to provide that and Coach Miles and his representatives also were ready.”
LSU seems like the weary parents who’ll do anything to get a 31-year-old dead-beat dependent out of the house and into the work force.
But it also suggests — those “other things” — that maybe Miles has something cooking on the horizon. Perhaps something where the LSU settlement was somehow complicating the negotiations.
Can’t imagine how. But who knows? Maybe it’s Kansas. Maybe there’s something else out there.
So back to today’s originally scheduled theme.
Selfishly, I have mixed feelings about Miles possibly being back on the sidelines.
I think we can all agree that good old Uncle Les is one of the more lovable characters in sports, certainly in coaching.
Can’t remember a fired coach where everyone involved so universally wished him well.
He hasn’t exactly kept a low profile around Baton Rouge and is still well received. He’s certainly been an ambassador for LSU.
But apparently he still has a “want” for coaching. So if that’s what he “wants,” go for it.
He’s no dummy. He knows Kansas is a tough nut to crack.
It’s Kansas football. We’re not talking about a little fixer-upper here. If the ball isn’t round, the Jayhawks struggle to play with it.
Good luck with that.
Personally, I’d rather see him ease into being the quirky (but lovable) face of college football, which he was starting to do with his commercials this season, which are Pure Les.
Then we could appreciate Miles. With Kansas, there’s always the possibility of having to turn your head, afraid to watch bad things happen to a good man.
Speaking of which, there is one potential deal-killer with Kansas Memorial Stadium.
It has artificial turf.
Miles might starve by the third quarter.