Friday, March 14, 2008
LSU, Miles agree on restructured five-year deal
ESPN.com news services
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU officials have agreed to pay football coach Les Miles at least $3.751 million a year for five years as part of a renegotiated contract after the Tigers won the national championship.
That figure is $1,000 more than the salary of the highest-paid coach in the SEC, former LSU and current Alabama coach Nick Saban, a source told ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach. It is also a raise of nearly $2 million per season. Miles earned $1.8 million last season.
Under Miles' original contract, he was to become the third-highest-paid coach in the country if he guided LSU to a national championship. LSU attorneys and Miles' agent settled on paying him $1,000 more than the highest-paid coach in the SEC because they couldn't verify coaching salaries at some private institutions.
The contract change will ensure Miles is among the top-paid college football coaches in the nation. He also is eligible to receive more money each year, depending on the team's performance on the field and in the classroom.
It is believed Notre Dame's Charlie Weis is the highest-paid coach in the country with an annual salary of $4.2 million, and USC's Pete Carroll is second at $3.8 million per season. Their exact salaries aren't known because Notre Dame and USC are private institutions, so the coaches' contracts aren't subject to open records laws.
The new contract gives Miles more security at LSU. If the school were to fire Miles without cause after this season, he would be owed $18.75 million by the school.
The new contract still includes a $1.25 million penalty for Miles if he leaves for Michigan. But under the terms of the contract, Miles wouldn't be financially penalized for leaving for any school other than his alma mater.
The contract adjustment was signed Friday by Miles and LSU system president John Lombardi. The university system's governing board also must agree to the deal.
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com college football writer Mark Schlabach was included in this report.