Thursday it was announced LSU had agreed to a settlement with Les Miles, which LSU announced as a $1.5 million payment to settle the remaining $6.5 million balance due.
Immediately, heads were scratching all over the place. Why would LSU do this? Miles had full obligation to mitigate and had dollar for dollar reduction on LSU's obligation for any future earnings Miles made elsewhere. Read that again, any future earnings Miles received would reduce LSU's obligation dollar for dollar.
You might recall the history here. When LSU fired Les in 2016 the agreement in place at the time called for termination payments of $9.6 million to be paid out over six years, fully subject to mitigation / offset. So, if Les never worked another day in his life he would have received $133,000 per month for six years. That was two years ago. The remaining balance was reported to be approximately $6.5 million per LSU's announcement.
So, Joe Alleva and Les' representatives cut a deal and they actually issued Les a check Thursday for $1.5 million.
Here's the thing. Hours after entering into the settlement agreement with LSU, Miles entered into a 5 year, $2.775 million annual contract (nearly $14 million in total) with Kansas. It's clear Les knew what he was doing here. LSU on the other hand?
Had LSU not entered into the settlement with Les this week, this very week, the university would have been completely off the hook. Miles' new contract with KU would have completely "mitigated" LSU's obligation and LSU would have owed Les nothing else. Not one dollar.
Why would LSU enter into that agreement this week? If Les were going to get a job, it would most likely have occurred in the next 30-45 days. If you were LSU, why rush the settlement and stroke the check now? None of this makes sense from LSU's perspective.
Unless I'm just missing something, Joe Alleva just cost LSU $1.5 million for no good reason.