While the focus this time of year in Kansas is usually on college hoops, it’s the Kansas University football team that has stolen the spotlight, and not in a good way! Life is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows in Lawrence Kansas these days. Kansas University and head coach Les Miles decided to mutually part ways just a few days ago due to alleged misconduct with female students while coaching at Louisiana State University.
Let’s be honest, it was probably not a mutual decision. Coach Miles was probably forced to resign. Anytime allegations are whispered about inappropriate conduct involving a coach, that means the end is near. Miles will still be paid nearly two million of the eight million dollars that is left on his contract (espn.com).
Adding to the collateral damage, Kansas University athletic director Jeff Long decided to step down just a few days after Miles’ departure. Long claims he is stepping down for the overall good of the university and that he did not want to be a negative distraction to the student athletes. Kurt Watson, who has been a generous long-term donor to the school, will step in as the interim AD.
Perhaps no one is more shocked at the Miles allegations than Long, who swore he did his due diligence before hiring Miles. Long claims to have spoken with several members of the LSU athletic department and no one raised any concerns at all about Coach Miles.
Long brought coach Miles on board as head football coach back in 2018 after he decided to fire coach David Beaty as his first order of business as the new athletic director. The hiring of Miles created some much needed buzz for the football program which had struggled for several years in a row.
However, the enthusiasm for Miles was short lived as Kansas posted a 3-9 record in 2019. The 2020 campaign proved to be even worse for the Jayhawks as they went winless for the season with an 0-9 mark (sports-reference.com) . The Jayhawks often looked undisciplined and overmatched on the field during Miles’ tenure in Lawrence.
What is Next for the Mad Hatter?
It is hard to say what the next move is for Les Miles. Miles has to hope his legal team can clear him of any wrongdoing at LSU. The 67-year old has adamantly denied any misconduct with female students and said he was simply acting as a mentor.
Will Miles get the opportunity to coach again? It depends on if his name gets cleared. Assuming that is the case, there are probably some schools out there in the college football world that would offer Miles a second chance. It will be interesting to see how things shake out for Miles in the coming months.
Though his time in Kansas was troubling, Miles is still a proven long-term winner. Miles has a lifetime head coaching record of 145-73 over 18 seasons with Oklahoma State, LSU, and Kansas. Miles led the LSU Tigers to a National Title for the 2007 season as well as a runner-up finish in 2011.