Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Les Miles to Remain at LSU... Again

I'm really tired of ESPN messing with our football team. And make no mistake, the hullabaloo yesterday was ALL about ESPN trying to manufacture a story to fill air time.

ESPN simply found out from a Detroit newspaper that Les Miles had a phone conversation last week with Michigan's people. They had no information about the content of that conversation. But because it was a slow news day, they decided to run with it, and the "story" appeared on all of their shows, including Mike & Mike In the Morning, the Mike Tirico Show, PTI, etc.

Nevermind that Les Miles has said in half a dozen different ways that he will not be Michigan's head coach. Don't misunderstand this point. He did not give standard coach-speak when denying rumors of involvement with Michigan. He did not say any of the following:
  • I'm not looking to change jobs
  • I have a team to coach
  • I'm dedicated to coaching this team
He did not give those vague non-denial denials. He could have, if he wanted. No one would have blamed him if he had. But he didn't. He's said several different times in several different forums in several different ways that he will not be Michigan's next coach.

The talk continued.

He then said he had reached an agreement in principle for a contract extension with LSU.

The talk continued.

He then signed a contract extension.

The talk continued.

He then came out again yesterday and said in unequivocal terms that he was not a candidate for Michigan's open coaching job. His precise words were:
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. I'm not a candidate for that job and I will not be a candidate for the job. 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.
What more can the man say? What can this man do that would actually end this "story"? He can't say it any more clearly or any more forcefully than he's said it.

ESPN has a lot of air time to fill, and this was an excellent way for them to fill it. First, they got to fill a lot of air time by, once again, talking about the possibility that Les Miles would go to Michigan, with a new angle. Then, several hours later, when they had run with that story quite a bit, they got to fill a lot of air time again by reporting that Les Miles, again, thoroughly denied the story. ESPN then filled its air time with retrospectives of Miles' denials of interest in the job.

ESPN took a nonstory and made two stories out of it. Of course, the second story mooted the first story and set the whole thing back to where we started the day, but at least they got to fill a lot of air time and cause a stir with what was, in essence, no story at all.

Responsible journalists would be embarrassed, perhaps even shamed out of the business. But not ESPN.

5 comments:

ynkeecajun said...

Yesterday Mike and Mike spent a lot of time on this and at the end of it expressed hope that LM was a man of his word. Then said if he turned out to be just that then their story would be ????? (I don't remember their exact words) recanted? wrong? we'll eat our words?? etc..

Today, we know he is a man of his word. Nothing from M&M. They seem to be "busy" with the Petrino story. Just a brief recap of yesterday's LM-to-UM story in the sports highlight at top & bottom of the hour.

On the one hand, I'm glad the victim of today's news is someone other than LM, but M&M should come out and say directly that they know now with definitive certainty that LM IS a man of integrity, just like they wanted Les to come out and directly say with definitive certainty that he WAS NOT going to UM.

gerry dorsey said...

"I'm really tired of ESPN messing with our football team."

welcome to the life of a bama fan. last year some people who turned down the bama job were never even offered. not to mention "rich rodriguez WILL be the next coach at alabama."

Richard Pittman said...

I will say in defense of the Rodriguez situation, he legitimately was a candidate and by all accounts appeared to be hours away from being officially hired. Les Miles was, allegedly, in something of the same situation.

The difference is that when Rodriguez finally said, "No," they didn't keep at it. The media didn't say, "Did his 'no' really mean 'no'? Or did it mean 'maybe'?" We didn't see stories about Rodriguez maybe, possibly still being a candidate weeks after he turned it down.

This is what we are dealing with, and it makes no sense.

gerry dorsey said...

well it may make no sense from your point of view, but for all intents and purposes, many people in michigan feel he is still a candidate. once rr turned bama down, everyone involved moved on. frankly once he turned it down bama nation said a collective "eff you then." on the other hand, michigan nation is saying "pretty please with a cherry on top b/c i will shoot myself if we hire brady hoke."

lawildbull said...

Is it so hard to believe that Les Miles is telling the truth? Have we become so cynical that we can believe no one? I personally choose to believe that Les Miles is a man of integrity and the continuing "Les to Michigan" is simply because LSU is in the Championship game and is, therefore, an open target for media and bloggers who have nothing to report so just keep this going.

The Hat will be at LSU through 2012 and beyond!