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.
Miles given raise, extension at LSU
LSU coach Les Miles speaks Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, on the sidelines during the second quarter against Arkansas at Razorback Stadium.
FAYETTEVILLE Les Miles has been given a pay raise and two-year contract extension through 2019 at LSU less than 24 hours after his name surfaced in the search for Arkansas' new football coach.
NOLA.com, the website of the New Orleans-based Times-Picayune newspaper, reported Tuesday Miles had a "serious offer" to become the Razorbacks' head coach. Miles denied Wednesday he was offered a five-year contract worth $27.5 million, which NOLA.com initially reported, but said he did speak with UA athletics director Jeff Long and discussed candidates for the position.
"The Arkansas issue was a sincere one," Miles said. "There's a colleague and friend of mine over the years that is the athletic director there, so I have a great respect for how he conducts business. Our conversations were very preliminary, but fell short of any major, major interest.
"I very much respect those Razorbacks, but I'm the LSU head coach and will be the LSU head coach as long as I can be."
Miles' agent, George Bass, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Tuesday "There's nothing like that going on," when asked about the reported offer.
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Miles declined to comment on who initiated contact between he and Long. Their relationship dates to when both were on staff at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s and early '90s.
The 59-year-old Miles is in his eighth season at LSU. He has a record of 85-20 with the Tigers, winning the 2007 BCS national championship and finishing national runner-up last season. He won SEC championships both years.
"We've done some special things and it's nice that the administration recognizes that and says 'Coach, we want you to be here,'" Miles said.
Long hasn't spoken publicly about the Razorbacks' coaching search in more than a month. He told players during a team meeting Sunday to expect a new coach within 10 to 14 days.