LSU athletic director Joe Alleva called a rare meeting with reporters on Friday to discuss the situation regarding LSU coach Les Miles.
The meeting came a day after The Advocate published a story on Thursday night detailing what unfolded last week with Miles, Alleva, school president F. King Alexander and potential Miles replacements.
Here’s the full story from the interview with Alleva.
Below is the transcription of the interview.
What’s your relationship like with Les Miles?
My relationship is a very outstanding working relationship like it is with all of our coaches. I don’t socialize with my coaches. My job is to do everything I can to try to help him win. That’s what I tell him and what I try to do.
Right now, I want to make everyone aware that he is our coach and we are committed to him. And that’s the most important thing out there, that people understand. The man has won 111 games in 11 years. You know all of the facts. He’s a solid, proven coach. The speculation got exasperated here because we lost three games in a row and, frankly around here, people aren’t used to doing that.
AX144_61C3_9As an AD, what do you do when you lose three straight games like that?
You start evaluating. You have to evaluate and you say, ‘Where can we go and how can we do thing better? And is there someone out there better that can do the job?’
But at the end of the day, after doing due diligence, we came to the conclusion that Les Miles is the right man for the job, and we’re going to back him 100 percent and support him and help him win at the highest level.
There’s a perception out there about his future here…
I understand. But all I can do is tell you sincerely that I’m going to do everything to help him win. My plans are to help Les Miles win and be the coach here until he wants to retire. My goal is to help the man win.
You evaluated and looked at options. When did you make the decision to keep Les Miles?
That decision was made in conjunction with King Alexander. He addressed that yesterday.
How far did you get in looking at options?
We made some inquiries. There’s talk about negotiations. There were no negotiations. There were inquiries made. There’s a big difference between inquiries and negotiations.
What’s the state of the program?AX145_40BB_9
We’re going to be going to a bowl game. We have some really good young talent. As you evaluate you have to look at the fact that we played a lot of freshmen and sophomores this year, had a few injuries. We’ve got a lot of great players coming back.
Do you think offensive changes should be made?
I think changes … people get hung up on personnel changes. I still believe people can change the way they do things. Doesn’t mean they have to change personnel, but you can change how that person does things.
Les has been committed to me that he understands there has to be some changes made.
You’ve talked about that with Les?
What about staff changes?
I have no authority to tell … I would never tell a coach who their assistant coach is.
Would you agree to extend the contract of Cam Cameron?AX201_424E_9
Les and I haven’t talked about that, but I’m sure we will in the very near future.
Talk about it or extend it?
It depends on what Les wants to do. I’m not going to tell Les who his coaches are.
That’s his responsibility. That’s his job – to pick his coaches.
Did you speak with Les leading up to the Texas A&M game?
What was your message to him?
My first message was to him was ignore all of the talk out there and continue to do your job. I talked to him Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I told him, ‘Don’t worry. Everything is going to be all right.’
I talked to him Saturday before the game and obviously I talked to him Saturday after the game.
In your mind, how important is next season given what’s happened this season?
I think every season is important. Every season is independent entity of itself. Every season is important. Every game is important.
This one isn’t going to be more important?
I think Les puts pressure on himself every year, every game. He’s a fierce competitor and he wants to win every game.
What are you thinking after the loss at Ole Miss?
I’m just thinking that we have to evaluate and look at options.
When did you stop looking at options?
I think Dr. King addressed that too. We stopped on Wednesday.
At what point did F. King Alexander become involved?
I communicate with Dr. Alexander all of the time.
Why didn’t you speak publicly over the last few weeks?
My policy is I evaluate every coach at the end of the season. That’s what I was waiting for – the end of the season.
I said in retrospect I probably should have come out and said that again, said something again.
Did you feel pressured to look at coaching options – from other people?
That’s my job to look at options. It’s called due diligence. That’s what athletic directors do.
You didn’t feel pressure from other people?
No, not really.
The key here is moving forward. Les is our guy, he’s our coach. We’re going to support him.
How has this affected recruiting?
Talking to Frank (Wilson) and Les, it’s OK right now, but the stories that come out are very important because other schools use that against us. I think right now, we’re hanging in there, but I want to make sure we hang in there.
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