The LSU Board of Supervisors may have been sending football coach Les Miles a subtle message on Friday when they deferred what was expected to be a noncontroversial boost in incentive pay.
The board was expected to vote on increasing Miles' incentive package by $100,000 to recognize the potential for LSU to participate in two College Football Playoff games in the four-team format. The former incentive package was built for the BCS, which is now defunct.
The amendment did not guarantee additional money for Miles, however. It merely adjusted the benchmarks. The Tigers would have to advance to the finals of the Playoffs for him to receive the full $200,000.
No explanation was given for deferring the change, except that it wasn't time sensitive. Without discussion, the Athletics Committee of the board took all of about 13 seconds to unanimously agree to defer.
But the move comes on the heels of an embarrassing season opener for LSU, which lost to unranked Wisconsin last weekend. Miles was criticized for employing a tired and predictable offensive strategy that relied too heavily on running game and nearly led to his firing last year.
Scott Angelle, a member of the Board of Supervisors who offered a motion to defer, said the move wasn't meant to intimidate Miles.
"It was just bad timing," he said.
Angelle said any changes to bonus pay should be determined later in the season, so Miles can be judged on his performance.
Asked about his opinion of Miles' performance in the Wisconsin game, Angelle, a member of the Public Service Commission demurred, saying he didn't watch the game because he was too busy campaigning for a congressional seat.
Angelle said there is plenty of time for the board to revisit the bonus. But he wouldn't give details about what members of the board expected from the embattled coach.
"What I want is the same thing everybody else wants – success," he said.
Miles' contract runs through 2019 which pays him $4.3 million a year. His buyout, if fired after the regular season, is $12.9 million.
After deferring the incentive pay for Miles, the committee approved a contract change for baseball coach Paul Mainieri that increases his salary from $750,000 to $1.125 million.
LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri is in the millionaire club.
Ross Dellenger of The Advocate contributed to this report.