FEINSWOG: No More Statements From Miles

Well, there seems to be no escaping it. It's everywhere.

Matt Deville, editor of this fine publication and co-host of the Tuesday night Tiger Rag radio show, called and asked me to be a guest.

So there I was, taking the call while watching a girls high school basketball game between visiting University High and St. Joseph's Academy, where my wife teaches.

And as the phone rang, I said to the woman I was sitting next to and visiting with, "Radio interview. And you'll never guess in a million years what we're gonna talk about!"

And Kathy Miles laughed and shook her head as I left the gym.

Big shock: Matt, Jeff Palermo and I talked about Les Miles and Michigan and LSU and, well, just shoot me.

Enough already.

Every time someone links Les Miles and Michigan he has to make another statement. Which makes writing this column begin to feel like the movie Groundhog Day.

Isn't this where I insert "Hail to the Victors?"

Seriously …

If Les Miles is the nice, honorable man he appears to be, he's staying at LSU.

No one at LSU is suggesting that he's going to Michigan.

Only people covering, rooting for and/or associated with Michigan suggest that he might still go to Michigan.

I was in LSU athletic director Skip Bertman's office last Monday afternoon. We were just visiting and not talking about Miles or football.

His cell phone rang. It was a reporter from the Detroit News named Angelique Chengelis. Bertman was on the phone with her for more than 15 minutes, constantly repeating himself about Miles being happy at LSU, about his family being happy in Baton Rouge, about how the job pays more at LSU, about all sorts of positives from his end.

Her subsequent story was innocuous enough, but hardly laid the issue to rest.

About 20 minutes later a reporter from the Detroit Free Press named Mark Snyder called Bertman's cell. Basically the same conversation as before, only it was shorter.

But Snyder had the information that Miles and Michigan had spoken, which prompted his lead in Tuesday's story:

"Louisiana State coach Les Miles appears to be a Michigan coaching candidate again."

And it all rolled downhill on Tuesday, getting bigger and bigger, like a snowball. Which they have in Michigan… but not in Louisiana.

By the way, it was 83 degrees in Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

ESPN jumped on it and it got bigger still and really big and then, finally Tuesday afternoon, LSU got Miles to issue yet another statement about staying.

Which left Michigan, well, who knows where it left Michigan.

Bertman was very complimentary of Michigan counterpart Bill Martin. As Bertman has noted, hiring a football coach is not easy. Martin is finding that out.

Perhaps by the time you read this Michigan will have a football coach. I hope so. So do the reporters in Michigan. Trust me: There's nothing worse than being a beat writer during a coach search, especially one like this.

In the meantime, at least for today, it appears that Miles doesn't have to release any more statements.

And when he gets a break, maybe he can watch some hoops.

By the way, SJA beat U-High, which lost its best player to injury in the second quarter, rather handily Tuesday.

"Smacker" Miles, only a seventh-grader who is quite an athlete – she claimed three state high school swim titles last month -- played some tough defense and crashed the boards with authority.

And in case you doubt that LSU football is everywhere around here these days, U-High's leading scorer (20 points) was Samantha Studrawa, whose dad Greg is LSU's offensive line coach.

You can bet the U-High sports program hopes Michigan hires a coach real soon.


Baton Rouge sportswriter Lee Feinswog is the host of the weekly television show Sports Monday. He's covered LSU athletics since 1984. His book HoopDaddy is available at www.HoopDaddy.net. Contact Lee at sportsmonday@aol.com or (225) 926-3256.

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