Miles spoke to Michigan, but reiterated commitment to LSU
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU coach Les Miles denied once again Tuesday he is interested in filling Michigan's head coaching vacancy.
Miles, who is spending this week recruiting for LSU, released a statement Tuesday in response to a report in the Detroit Free Press that the Tigers' coach had spoken with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and school president Mary Sue Coleman late last week.
"I had a conversation with Michigan last week that covered a wide range of topics. I was doing nothing more than helping them with their search for a football coach, just as any loyal alumnus might do. It was nothing more than that," Miles, the former Oklahoma State football coach, said.
"I'm not a candidate for that job and I will not be a candidate for the job," Miles said. "I was only assisting them in their search for a coach. I have a great job at a wonderful place, a place that my family calls home. It's time that Michigan goes on with their search for a football coach. I'll say it again, I'm going to be the coach at LSU next season."
Miles played and was an assistant coach at Michigan, where he was believed to be a leading candidate to take over after Lloyd Carr resigned in November.
However, Miles held an unusual press conference hours before the Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta on Dec. 1, saying he intended to remain LSU's coach.
LSU then defeated Tennessee, allowing the Tigers to advance to the BCS title game against Ohio State after Missouri and West Virginia both lost later that night.
Last week, Miles signed a contract extension that would keep him at LSU through 2012. His salary will depend on whether LSU wins the BCS championship game in New Orleans on Jan. 7.
If LSU wins, the contract provides Miles must become among the nation's top-earning college football coaches, no less than the third highest paid. University officials estimate that would put his annual earnings between $3.2 million and $3.5 million -- but that could grow depending on contract negotiations with other coaches.
Should Ohio State win the game, Miles contract would increase to at least $2.8 million annually based on LSU's SEC championship this year.
A $1.25 million buyout that Miles must pay if he leaves LSU for Michigan remains in the contract, which also includes a new settlement clause should Miles be fired without cause before the contract expires. If LSU fired Miles, the coach could be owed as much as $15 million, up from $10 million.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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