Les Miles calls job speculation a 'pretty prevailing and evident distraction'

ByDavid Ching ESPN logo
Thursday, November 26, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Les Miles still doesn't know where he stands as LSU's football coach.

At his weekly media briefing after Wednesday's practice, Miles said he has not spoken this week with athletic director Joe Alleva about whether he will return as the Tigers' coach.

"I have no idea," said Miles, who has won two SEC titles and one national championship since becoming LSU's coach in 2005. "I would love to think that there's another 11 years, I enjoyed them so much."

Alleva has not made a public statement about Miles' future employment.

Miles said he and Alleva last spoke Sunday regarding an issue unrelated to his job status. He and the athletic director meet each year after the season, and Miles said he expects to have such a meeting with Alleva soon.

"I expect to talk to him whenever it's appropriate to talk to him, at whatever time," Miles said.

Miles' job status has been in question for more than a week, and speculation has only intensified with LSU in the middle of the program's first three-game losing streak since 1999. As much as Miles and his coaching staff work to prevent outside factors from becoming a distraction, he admitted that this week presented a unique challenge.

"Certainly we've run into distractions before, but this seems to be a pretty prevailing and evident distraction," Miles said.

Miles has won 77.5 percent of his games at LSU, the best winning percentage for any coach in the modern era of LSU football. But the Tigers' SEC record has declined each year since 2011, when LSU last won the SEC title. If LSU (7-3, 4-3 SEC) loses toTexas A&M(8-3, 4-3) on Saturday, it will be the program's second straight 4-4 season against conference opposition.

Saturday also represents the first meeting between LSU and A&M since defensive coordinator John Chavis' bitter departure to join Kevin Sumlin's staff after last season. Miles said he and Chavis have not communicated this week, but "John and I certainly respect each other and I enjoyed working with him a ton."

Miles agreed that, beyond all the other factors in play this week, there is added motivation to beat Chavis and his team this weekend.

"I can tell you this, there absolutely is," Miles said. "It's like a friend, it's like anybody, it's more important that you play well."

Miles said junior left tackle Jerald Hawkins should be back from the foot injury that kept him out of last week's Ole Miss game and "I expect him to start and play."

Miles said earlier in the day that junior receiver Travin Dural will be out three months after injuring his hamstring against Ole Miss. He listed Trey Quinn, John Diarse and Tyron Johnson as receivers who could expect to play larger roles against A&M in Dural's absence.

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