Tuesday, December 04, 2007

ESPN's Herbstreit Calls Les, says "Sorry 'Bout Dat"

ESPN and ABC analyst Kirk Herbstreit says he called LSU coach Les Miles late Saturday to say he was sorry for messing up his Michigan deal, and pretty much guaranteeing that his children learn at least a bit of Cajun before their teen years.
"I called Les late that night after the Missouri-Oklahoma game and really called for nothing else but to apologize for it becoming such a huge story, such a distraction for him, his team to have to have to deal with," Herbstreit told the Detroit Free Press. "It was never my intent, so that was the one thing that I regretted; it became such a significant story everywhere, everywhere you turned.Looking back, it was easy to see how Les Miles almost left for Michigan."
Michigan's football program is among the most successful in college football history. Michigan won the first Rose Bowl game in 1902, has won an NCAA-record 860 games and has an all-time winning percentage of .745, also an NCAA record. The Wolverine football program has claimed 11 national titles.
LSU has claimed two, but can claim its third in January.
But aside from Herbstreit, what happened to the U-M deal? U-M athletic director Bill Martin had Miles at the top of his list although he was no Miles fan. Miles wanted U-M since he left in 1994.
Now, with a national championship at stake, Miles say Michigan was never on his mind much.
"I've probably spent 15 minutes allowing a personal thought along those lines," he told reporters.

Not true, really. Miles had go-betweens galore at U-M and the Miles camps was prepping for a plane ride. They were even hammering out an agreement.
Word is that Michigan put a five-year deal on the table, and Les wet his lips.
And Miles knew it.
But Bill Martin wanted a face-to-face interview, which couldn't happen until after the SEC title game.
Lloyd Carr, very influential with Martin, did not want Miles at Michigan.
But Friday, LSU hit for the pre-emptive strike: offering Miles more years and more money than he would get from Michigan.
When ESPN prematurely reported Saturday morning that Michigan was expected to hire Miles, that added to the pressure and the real possibility that the coach would be a distraction to LSU with the big game hours away. So Miles, stripped of his freedom of speech by ESPN, backed out by rallying with his senior players like Jacob Hester and Craig Steltz.
Miles' big fear -- that Carr would kill his candidacy -- was apparently never realized. But the possibility of it helped convince Miles to stay.
Also Herbstreit promised one more thing:
"One thing I can assure you, you will never see me gathering news and reporting information ever again."
Well put.

1 comment:

ramosa said...

i agree with most of what you wrote, but ... NOT that miles was stripped of his freedom of speech by ESPN. how so? ESPN did a bad job in reporting, but they didn't strip miles' of his freedom of speech.

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