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December 4, 2007

Miles deal with LSU on hold until after title game?

Saturday, Les Miles said he was "at home" coaching LSU.

But it looks as if he'll wait a while before he truly settles in.

Miles won't sign a contract extension until after the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7. LSU athletic director Skip Bertman told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he "didn't think there would be any problem" when asked if Miles was reconsidering his decision to stay.

Miles, a former Michigan player and assistant, is expected to get a new five-year contract from LSU with an annual salary in the $3 million range. That's said to be the same amount Michigan would be willing to pay its new coach.

Bertman said the hold up on the new deal came about because of the Tigers' appearance in the title game. "We had arranged to sit down at a leisure time and fix it so it could be brought to the (LSU) Board (of Supervisors) Thursday with our bowl budget," Bertman told the Times-Picayune. "Now the chancellor (Sean O'Keefe) and other board members might delay that until the next board meeting in January after the game."

Saturday, before LSU beat Tennessee in the SEC Championship Game, Miles called an impromptu news conference to refute an ESPN report that he would be going to Michigan. "I am the head coach at LSU," he said. "I will be the head coach at LSU." After the game, he reiterated that point and said there was "no wiggle room" in his statement.

In July 2006, a clause was inserted into his LSU contract that would make it expensive for Miles to go to Ann Arbor. In the "termination by coach" section of his deal, Michigan is the only school mentioned. The clause requires Miles to pay LSU $1.25 million if he left to for the Wolverines.

At least one prime recruit has removed LSU from consideration because of the Miles saga. Patrick Johnson, a five-star cornerback from Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely, told TigerBait.com that he no longer was considering LSU.

"The whole saga of him staying or leaving doesn't help LSU's chances with me because I think that he is going to end up leaving anyway," Johnson said. "I think he is still going to leave."

What about Miles' statement that he will stay at LSU?

"That is the same thing that Nick Saban said when he was the head coach of the Dolphins (before he left for Alabama)," Johnson said.

For complete coverage of the Michigan coaching search, check out TheWolverine.com.

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