GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – If you are keeping score at home, the buyout for LSU football coach Les Miles’ contract - should it be postdated to December 31, 2016 - would be only $6.4 million if he is fired this season. And that could decrease more by what he makes in his next job should he want to coach again.
His buyout was NOT $15 million last year by November when the firing movement began. It was $15 million had he been fired on January 1, 2015. It was decreasing by his salary, which is $4.3 million, as the year went on. Had Miles been fired postdated to December 31, 2015, his buyout would have been $15 million minus his salary of $4.3 million, according to his contract. That would have been a $10.7 million buyout. That minus his $4.3 million salary would be $6.4 this December 31.
It may depend on how one reads the contract. But that is how many read it, including LSU’s attorneys. Miles’ agent George Bass does not read it that way if he actually read it. He was saying $15 million last year as were other media accounts, but they were wrong.
At any rate, if Miles’ very talented and experienced formerly No. 5 LSU team continues to flounder miserably as it did Saturday in a 16-14 loss to unranked Wisconsin, the numbers – regardless of how one reads the contract – are manageable this year. And they will get more manageable by the game unless LSU does not get better quick.
And LSU’s firing squad will be more organized and will have more time to put together the financial plan to oust Miles and hire a new coach, which could still be Jimbo Fisher of Florida State. It’s barely September. Last year, they tried to throw it all together in mid-November, and they were not used to the process. They will learn from their mistakes last year. They will learn to keep quiet, then strike, which is what Georgia did with Mark Richt. And there will not be the emotional rush of backlash against LSU athletic director Joe Alleva and loving martyrdom for Miles. That was last year.
Miles looked Saturday almost exactly as he did after the 38-17 loss to Ole Miss last season, which followed the 30-16 and 31-14 losses to Alabama and Arkansas when it looked he could be fired. He looked ashen and defeated on Saturday much more than after some other loss. And offensive coordinator Cam Cameron looked worse than that as he walked off the field. He looked like he may want to spend the rest of the season in the press box as opposed to the sidelines. The farther away the better from this offense, which would not even look good close up at closing time.
Speaking of closing time, LSU’s 30,000 who made this trip are in for the longest return trip of their fan lives. After all the hoopla about how the Tigers were occupying Green Bay (I’m guilty as charged.), Wisconsin outnumbered LSU in Lambeau Field’s stands 60 percent to 40.
It was a great, long weekend in an exotic locale. Then the game started.
The only consolation was that the defense looked good, and some of their SEC opponents do not. But all that may mean is 8-4, and that’s going to make the buyout very, very manageable.
It looks like a very long season.
(© 2016 WWL)