Three incidents during Les Miles career at LSU truly define his character.
Or lack thereof.
Incident No. 1:
Prior to the start of the 2007 season, Les Miles was about as humble and respectful as Terrell Owens or Chad Ochocinco. Speaking in front of a LSU-friendly crowd in New Orleans, Les Miles made the following comments about USC:
"I would like nothing better than to play USC for the [national] title, I can tell you this, that they have a much easier road to travel. They're going to play real knockdown drag-outs with UCLA and Washington, Cal-Berkeley, Stanford—some real juggernauts—and they're going to end up, it would be my guess, in some position so if they win a game or two, that they'll end up in the title [game].
"I would like that path for us. I think the SEC provides much stiffer competition."
While these kinds of words are usually reserved for message boards amongst braggart obsessive fans, the head coach at LSU actually made these comments in a public forum.
Obviously, Miles knew something more than the general public, as his Tigers became the first two-loss National Champion in the entire history of college football.
While USC encountered two losses themselves, they actually ended up losing to one of the teams (Stanford) that Les Miles called out prior to the beginning of the season.
Usually, head coaches are very respectful of their competition, So much so that when teams play the likes of a Eastern Michigan that they give high remarks for how well coached the team is and how they will provide to be a worthy competitor.
Not the case for Miles.
Not only did LSU not have USC on their schedule in 2007, he made a point to take a pot-shot at the "other" team that many felt was most likely to challenge for the National Title that year.
OK. Strike One.
All can be forgotten, right?
Incident No. 2:
Fast forward to Nov. 21, 2009.
In a tight game against division rival Mississippi, the Tigers were making a late drive to try to overcome a rare loss to the Rebels.
After a miraculous fourth down completion with merely nine seconds left on the clock had occurred, Miles' first year starting sophomore quarterback was looking toward the sidelines for help and judgement in such a critical point in a contest.
Heck, there was only one second on the clock, LSU had no timeouts left, and they could assuredly be able to rush the field with their field goal team while the chain gang reset the markers and the referees were looking to properly spot the ball.
That didn't happen.
In fact, the LSU players on the field were fully expecting that to happen as the entire offensive unit was already looking to head to the sideline expecting that the field goal team would be rushed onto the field to make a game-winning field goal.
What actually happened was Jordan Jefferson simply took the snap with one second left and calmly threw the ball into the ground in an attempt to "clock it." LSU fans were left in bewilderment as to how this could possibly happen, and then looked to their proud leader for an explanation:
"I do not know who told him to clock it...You cannot clock that ball. I don't know that that call was ever made."
Did you really just throw your first year starting sophomore quarterback out to the wolves?
Even if that was the case, you didn't back up your player by taking responsibility like 119 other FBS coaches would have?
In reality, video evidence was produced that showed Miles vehemently asking his QB to spike the ball with a mere one second left on the clock. Not only did Les Miles throw his young quarterback out to pasture, he lied in doing so.
Nice work coach. Can't wait to send my kid to play for you.
Then again, if I did, would he actually play for you?
Incident No. 3:
The 2010 LSU recruiting class was one of the best in the nation. In fact, highly regarded recruiting sites in Rivals and Scout had the LSU recruiting class respectively ranked as the No. 6 and No. 7 class in the entire nation.
With 29 recruits coming into Baton Rouge (ahem, 27) the Tigers were looking to bring in a class that could lead them toward another run at SEC and National Title glory.
One of those hopeful prodigies was Elliot Porter.
Porter was a highly-regarded prospect amongst the 2010 recruiting class talent pool. In fact, he had at least 14 known scholarship offers, including such schools as Nebraska, Florida State, Texas Tech, Stanford, Mississippi State, and Southern Miss.
Elliot decided that he wanted to take his talents to LSU.
The excited youngster was looking to be yet another great player for his beloved in-state LSU Tigers football team.
In early August he packed up his things and moved into a dorm in Baton Rouge, looking ready for fall camp. Heck, he had a scholarship in hand, and was ready to start his collegiate football career.
Not so fast Mr. Elliot. Mr. Miles wants to see you in his office. There seems to be a problem with the number of actual scholarships available.
After a quick meeting with the head coach, Elliot had the following response:
"He just told me that they didn't have room for me. I moved out of my dorm today and I am now back home trying to figure everything out. It's been a rough 24 hours."
No worries though, Les has given an open "offer" that Elliot can join the LSU program as a greyshirt next year if he would like to do that.
While you can say this is a "life lesson" for Elliot to learn, the sad fact is that he had 14 other offers out there for him if he had been told much earlier in the process that he simply wouldn't make the cut.
But this is Les Miles.
And he has no compassion for anybody but himself. Why not let a kid get on campus in August and then tell him he no longer has a scholarship available to him to play football for LSU?
All this from one of the brashest, boldest, and loudest coaches in all of college football.
So ask yourself. If your kid were a talented prospect looking to play college football, would you want him to be under the guidance of one Mr. Les Miles?
Character flaws? Les Miles makes Benedict Arnold seem noble and trustworthy.
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