Category Archives: Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

Adios, muchacho.

Les Miles has been cut loose at Kansas and Jeff Long is “extremely disappointed”.  I really feel for him.  It was a mutual decision, which I assume means Les gets some money and Jeff avoids another embarrassing deposition.  Truly something for both sides.  At least Les can now get back to his acting career.

Unlike when he hired Miles, Long has hired a search firm this time around, not that it’s going to deflect the barrage of criticism he’s got to be trying to fend off frantically right now.

Bruce Feldman ($$) is quick out of the gate with some possible replacements, with the most viable option, as he puts it, being the guy I’m glad Tennessee or South Carolina didn’t go after hard:

The most viable option for Kansas, based on what we’ve heard from industry sources, is Buffalo’s Lance Leipold. The 56-year-old has strong Midwest ties, knows the Big 12 footprint, and is a proven winner, having won six Division III national titles at Wisconsin-Whitewater. He left for Buffalo, one of the toughest places to win in the FBS, and has won there, too. In his fourth season, the Bulls went 10-4. They are 24-10 over the last three years, and that includes a top-25 finish in 2020. Leipold, a two-time MAC Coach of the Year, keeps finding and developing big-time players. He also spent over a decade coaching in Nebraska and worked three seasons on Frank Solich’s staff with the Cornhuskers.

I didn’t realize Leipold had a Big 12 history.  He’s almost too perfect for the job, which probably means he’ll get passed over for it by Long.

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Less than a week in, we’re already into the ass-covering phase.

Shot.

On Saturday, Miles’ attorney Peter Ginsberg described Kansas’ decision to put Miles on leave as being based on “media blowback” and categorized it as being “disturbing and unfair.”

“Bending to the winds of media blowback, Kansas has now decided to put Coach Miles on administrative leave,” Ginsberg said in a statement. “Before the release of the reports this week, Kansas had been provided with significant information supporting Taylor Porter’s conclusions. KU also had performed thorough due diligence before hiring Coach Miles. Kansas’ decision to put Les Miles on administrative leave is both disturbing and unfair. To fail to recognize that a person’s career should not be compromised by unsubstantiated allegations hardly is consistent with the example an institution of higher learning should champion.”

Chaser.

Kansas found no red flags with Les Miles during what it claims were extensive background checks prior to his hiring in 2018, school sources told CBS Sports. Those sources defended KU’s vetting of Miles, who is currently on administrative leave after an LSU investigation that found allegations of sexual harassment by two women became public knowledge.

“We did background checks. We did all of those kinds of things,” said a high-ranking school official who did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the proceedings and Kansas’ ongoing investigation. “We talked to people about Les and what he was doing. No one gave any indication of this. No investigations, no reports, no nothing. Zero.”

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long released a statement Friday noting this is the first time the athletic department had “access” to both an LSU in-house report and a third-party investigation detailing allegations against Miles.

Miles would not have been hired if there was any “inkling” of the information contained in the reports, school sources told CBS Sports.

Long and Miles became close when they were together at Michigan from 1988-94. During that time, Miles coached the offensive line under Bo Schembechler, while Long was an associate AD until 1998.

“[Long] did not hire him because he is a friend,” said a Kansas source, which insisted it was Miles’ coaching ability that made him the top candidate for the Jayhawks.

Yeah, sure, whatever.  Miles’ coaching ability has, for the time being, put the Kansas program on a 0-13 trajectory.  Truly vaunted.

As for those extensive background checks…

About all that’s left is for Long to say he’s never even heard of LSU.

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The SEC’s Baylor?

While Les Miles is getting his fair share of opprobrium thrown his way for the shenanigans at LSU, the school deserves its fair amount of attention for it, too, for institutionalizing turning a blind eye to the problems, at least as long as the football team was winning.

… The school itself cannot escape blame for what appears to be a sweeping, years-long cover up of both their former coach’s actions and their failures in handling sexual complaints against their football players. At least six school officials knew of Miles’s secret, including three former members of the LSU Board of Supervisors, a powerful, politicized governing body at the university. They told no one, not even their own colleagues on the board.

Contacted Friday, former board members were stewing over the news.

How were we not told? How did this happen?

One of the three former board members who knew about Miles’s reported transgressions, Stanley Jacobs, fielded a phone call Friday from Sports Illustrated. “I don’t have anything to say, but thanks for calling,” he said before ending the conversation. Alleva did not reply to a message.

Have a nice day, fellas.

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Les, Les, Les…

This, my friends, is one helluva lede.

At the height of his fame as Louisiana State University’s head football coach, Les Miles was accused of texting female students, taking them to his condo alone, making them feel uncomfortable and, on at least one occasion, kissing a student and suggesting they go to a hotel after telling her he could help her career, according to an internal investigative report released by LSU on Thursday.

Les describes all of that as “simply mentoring young women at the university”.  Yeah, sure.

Miles also was accused by athletic department staff of saying that the female student workers who helped the football team lure top recruits needed to be attractive, blonde and fit, according to the investigative report. Existing student employees who did not meet this criteria should be given fewer hours or terminated, the report details.

His attorney hopes the release of the report puts an end to the “baseless, inaccurate media reports.”  As opposed to the sourced, accurate legal report, I guess.

As for what else the report’s release might put an end to, Stewart Mandel ($$) speculates about the ripple effect at Kansas.

So while Kansas, as KU Athletics spokesman Dan Beckler says, may not have known about these allegations at the time of Miles’ hire, it’s fair to question whether the school can justify keeping him. Long did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

After Miles went 0-9 in his second season and lost his offensive coordinator to Middle Tennessee State, one might wonder if Kansas AD Long would even care whether he stays.

The truth: Long desperately needs the LSU allegations to blow over, because if Miles has to go, so surely does the man who hired him.

Mandel says it raises a “legitimate” question about how much vetting Long did before hiring Miles.  The adjective is amusing, considering how Long ineptly tried to engineer a situation to avoid paying Miles’ predecessor a $3 million buyout, not to mention one of the many lowlights on Long’s resume was the hire of Bobby Petrino at Arkansas.  Deep reflection is not part of Long’s MO.

If that winds up biting him in the butt and costing him a job, well, karma is a bitch.  The real question is whether, should that happen, another school is dumb enough to employ him.  Eh, don’t answer that.

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UPDATE:  Didn’t see this coming.

Alleva got it right?  Hoo, boy.  Guess the powers that be thought Les had a title or two left in him.

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That sound you hear is a steady drip.

Every day, something else.

When head football coach Les Miles was the subject of a sexual harassment investigation in 2013 at LSU, the university’s former human resources director says he got a call he has never forgotten.

The call prompted the HR director, A.G. Monaco, to report the harassment allegations against Miles up LSU’s chain of command, including to two former LSU presidents, he said. But he said he saw no action from them, and furthermore, that a copy of the investigation never made it to human resources, in apparent contravention of university policy.

… The episode sheds new light on LSU’s handling of sexual harassment complaints against Miles, at the time a towering figure on campus, as university officials prepare to release a broader review of how LSU has dealt with such episodes over the years. The review, being led by the law firm Husch Blackwell, which was hired by the university, is expected to be made public late next week.

Monaco’s allegations suggest that LSU’s heralded athletic department worked to keep complaints about misconduct — involving both Miles and student-athletes — in-house, rather than freely sharing them with higher-ups on the academic side of campus.

Ummm… when did LSU’s athletic department become “heralded”?  But I digress.

What’s the over/under on the number of stories that drop before the review is made public?

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The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world a settlement didn’t exist.

So, there’s this.

Former LSU head football coach Les Miles reached a settlement with a former student who accused him of harassment several years ago, and the settlement has surfaced as investigators probe the university’s handling of sexual misconduct and domestic violence complaints, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation have confirmed to The Advocate | The Times-Picayune.

The episode goes back about a decade, when a former LSU Athletic Department student intern accused Miles of “hitting on her,” three of the sources said.

The thing is, LSU claims to know nothing about it.

“As part of the Husch Blackwell review and our internal investigations, we have heard about a settlement, but LSU is not a party to it and we have not seen it,” Jim Sabourin, the university’s vice president of strategic communications, said when presented with the allegations Wednesday. Husch Blackwell is the law firm LSU hired to scrutinize the university’s handling of sexual misconduct and other complaints.

Lester himself denies it ever happened.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Miles, now the coach at the University of Kansas, denied he made advances toward a student intern. “That’s not true,” he said.

And his attorney cries, “fake news!”.

A longtime attorney for Miles, New York-based Peter Ginsberg, said in an email Wednesday that a description of Miles’ settlement with the student was “discernibly incomplete and inaccurate, and its publication would recklessly cast Mr. Miles in a false light.”

Sort of, anyway.

Ginsberg did not respond to follow-up questions about whether he was denying the existence of the settlement itself.

I guess it’s easier to deny the existence of something you’ve kept buried for years.

The long-buried settlement — which does not turn up in searches of Baton Rouge court records — has come to light amid a larger review of how LSU has handled allegations of sexual misconduct and domestic violence cases, the sources said.

But I doubt that’s gonna hold up much longer.  That should be awkward.

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UPDATE:  Yeah, this figures.

Never let it be said that Jeff Long isn’t one to take advantage of an opportunity when one presents itself.

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Co-opted

Shot.

Screenshot_2020-10-09 Mark Ennis on Twitter

Chaser.

Screenshot_2020-10-09 Mark Ennis on Twitter(1)

There are times when I think life comes at Les Miles fast every single day.

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A reminder of Jeff Long’s enduring genius

Les Miles has a season and a game under his belt.  In that short stretch, he’s managed to lose to Coastal Carolina twice.  He’s got a plan, though.

That ought to fix things, for sure.

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Zen and the art of Les Miles

“If they opt out because of the pandemic, then they opt into the pandemic.”  Wut?

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“KU comes to you.”

When it comes to recruiting in the time of the coronavirus, necessity remains the mother of invention.

On March 12, Kansas head coach Les Miles posted a note on his Twitter that the Jayhawks will be canceling their big upcoming junior day scheduled for March 21 because of the circumstances regarding the Coronavirus. We are currently in a mandated NCAA recruiting dead period.

“We are excited that you have interest in our program and can’t wait to meet with you at the appropriate time,” Miles wrote.

While the Coronavirus is obviously impacting every college program’s spring visit schedules from coast to coast, it looks like Miles and his staff quickly pivoted to a Plan B to showcase their program to prospective prospects. And with that, their junior day plans are back on.

In a virtual sense.

The day will include a TikTok dance off with the Kansas staff and their families, before pivoting to already prepared videos regarding tours of campus. There will be presentations regarding campus dining, player development, facilities, videos, the strength staff, nutrition, academics, the partnership with Adidas, as well as the coaching staff and Coach Miles as well as the city of Lawrence.

“There is an aspect of it for the public, so Friday is the junior day and every hour starting at 9 am one of those elements will be released via social media, so anyone can tune in,” Redmond said. “On the back end of all that, our top prospects are going to be FaceTiming with the coaching staff and receiving videos and personal graphics from the staff.”

Lester, bringing the heat!  I wonder if he’ll discuss grass during the nutrition segment.

If this works, I bet it takes off.  It’s not like football staffs have as much on their plate as usual right now.

A Nick Saban TikTok dance off would be a real treat to watch.

(h/t)

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