Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A two-time graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Reports link Miles to Arkansas; agent says otherwise
LSU coach Les Miles speaks Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, on the sidelines during the second quarter against Arkansas at Razorback Stadium.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas has targeted LSU head coach Les Miles to fill the Razorbacks' vacancy at the same position, multiple reports stated Tuesday, but those close to Miles and the coaching search indicate otherwise.
A source familiar with the search told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette no offer had been made to Miles. When reached by the newspaper on Tuesday, Miles' agent, George Bass, said, "There's nothing like that going on."
A source within the LSU football program told WholeHogSports.com any talks between Arkansas and Miles would be "surprising" and wasn't aware of any interest by the coach in leaving the school.
To the contrary, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported the 59-year old Miles had an offer from Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long. Quoting a source, the Times-Picayune report stated, "They made a serious offer. (LSU Athletics Director) Joe (Alleva) is meeting with his agent and the discussion is ongoing."
A report on the popular blog "Sports By Brooks" earlier Tuesday stated the alleged offer was for five years and $27.5 million.
Miles is in his eighth season at LSU with a record of 85-20. He won the 2007 BCS national championship, finished national runner-up last season and has won two SEC titles in three trips to the championship game.
The Tigers have won 10 or more games six times under Miles. LSU recorded its 10th win of this season last Friday, beating Arkansas 20-13 in Fayetteville.
Prior to LSU, Miles spent four seasons as head coach at Oklahoma State. Sources indicate he and Long have remained in contact since Miles was an assistant coach and Long an administrator at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s and early '90s.
Arkansas is looking for a full-time replacement for Bobby Petrino, who was fired for misconduct in April. John L. Smith served as the Razorbacks' coach this season and was reassigned to a consultant role over the weekend.
Long has been tight-lipped about the search, offering few clues as to potential candidates. He told the football team during a meeting Sunday he expected to have a new coach in place within 10 to 14 days.
Tom Murphy contributed information to this report