Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sorry ESPN, Les Miles Still an LSU Tiger

It seems that every time the University of Michigan has a head football coaching vacancy, ESPN reports that Les Miles, head football coach at Louisiana State University (LSU) has reached an agreement to take over the Wolverines' program.

LSU Fans Show Support for Miles
Let me be perfectly clear: Les Miles is staying at LSU, not leaving for Michigan --- regardless of what ESPN has to say about it.

This has happened twice now.  The first time was in 2007 when Kirk Herbstreet reported that Michigan had hired Miles on the day before LSU was to take on Tennessee in the SEC title game.  LSU had to host an impromptu press conference the morning of the game in order to debunk the rumors.

Some speculate that due to the timing of the '07 rumors, Herbstreet's source may have been someone associated with the Tennessee football program.  The rationale is that by creating such a huge distraction for LSU the day before the game, the Tigers' focus would be elsewhere, giving Tennessee the edge in terms of mental preparedness.

Most recently, ESPN reported on Sportscenter that Miles was set to meet with Michigan officials and was poised to accept the position this time around if offered.  That broadcast aired January 10, 2011.  On January 11, LSU announced it had reached an agreement with Miles on a contract extension that will keep him a Tiger for the next seven seasons.

The identity of ESPN's source, as well has his or her motive, is anybody's guess on this one.  Sure, no proof exists that Tennessee was responsible for the first incident, but at least there is a clearly defined motive that makes sense.

In the second instance, the suspect and motive are notably less clear.  While certainly a head-scratcher, the mystery surrounding the most recent ESPN faux report hasn't done anything to quell speculation as to who was behind the rumor and why.  The article linked to below takes an in-depth look at some of the different theories that attempt to identify the source of the "leak", as well as the motive.

For more on ESPN's erroneous reporting of Miles' nonexistent plans to leave LSU for his alma mater, check out the complete article at Fat Lester's blog:  Les Miles To Remain At LSU (ESPN Gets It Wrong Again).

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