Over the past month LSU and its fan base have been gripped with the “will Les Miles be fired” saga. All indications are that Miles will be dismissed regardless of the result of the Texas A&M game Saturday.
Supporters of Miles will say that Miles is one of LSU’s winningest coaches and he has been a solid recruiter. They’re right. Miles detractors will say that his teams have consistently failed to live up to their full potential and they cannot beat many of their SEC rivals. They’re also right.
When all things are considered, it probably is time for Les Miles to move on. The program has stalled in progress and in fact is backsliding, particularly when you look at the types of bowl games LSU is going to now. This year, the Independence Bowl is a very real possibility.
However, the Les Miles saga itself is an embarrassment to LSU. This has been played out in the media and handled unprofessionally. The process of essentially firing Les Miles in the press has made LSU’s football program the laughing stock of the nation. This will have an impact in trying to recruit a replacement for Miles, who will be difficult to replace as it is.
There are two people at fault for this debacle and that is LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva and LSU President F. King Alexander. If I was Les Miles, I would resign and blast LSU over how badly I have been treated. Miles deserves much more than essentially being fired in the media after the Alabama game. If Alleva and Alexander knew they wanted to make a change after the embarrassing loss to Alabama, they should’ve gone ahead and made it. Now we have a football team that’s not motiviated to play, an annoyed fan base, and the whole process which has become a natioanl embarrassment.
If it was just this little bit of incompetence, perhaps we could let Alleva and Alexander slide. But we have to look at the whole body of work. The entire LSU athletics program is a mess. In the college sports anyone actually pays attention to, is there an LSU team that can be called elite? The LSU baseball team seems to come close to and even makes the College World Series occasionally, but then they quickly crash out. The basketball program are perennial underachievers. It’s hard to say that any LSU athletics program is on the right track and Alleva needs to pay the price for this.
Meanwhile, we have the F. King Alexander clown show. When the Jindal Administration proposed deep cuts to higher education, Alexander had a fit. LSU, unlike most Louisiana public universities, is a school students want to attend. The easy solution would’ve been to ask for greater flexibility in tuition because students will pay the increased tuition. Even worse, Alexander blew up a bond issue and opened LSU up to a Federal securities investigation when he threatened bankruptcy. When you add up this summer’s circus and this Les Miles saga, you don’t need to be a math major to realize that Alexander has become a liability to LSU.
When Les Miles gets his walking papers, Joe Alleva and F. King Alexander need to join him in the unemployment line.