The NCAA issued its ruling Thursday on multiple recruiting violations by LSU’s men’s basketball and football teams.
Both programs received a flat sentence — three years probation — because they had to go through the NCAA’s independent resolutions panel. None of them suffered from a lack of institutional control fee or a postseason ban.
Former basketball coach Will Wade, now with McNeese, also received a 10-game suspension and a two-year show cause sentence. But the hardest hit by this process is former LSU football coach Les Miles, who has not been associated with the program since 2016.
As part of an attempt to mitigate NCAA penalties, LSU racked up 37 wins during Miles’ tenure. Among other things, the NCAA fully accepted LSU football’s self-imposed penalty, which meant the wins he had earned during those seasons were annulled (not forfeited). As a result, the NCAA officially recognizes that LSU went 0-14 from 2012-2015.
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Why does this matter? With those wins no longer possible, Miles is no longer eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame. Here’s everything you need to know about the NCAA process, how it affects Miles and why he can no longer be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a coach:
What did Les Miles do?
LSU issued several penalties of its own — including the 37 wins outstanding — after finding former offensive lineman Vadal Alexander ineligible to play during his stint with the program from 2012-2015.
Although Miles was not specifically mentioned as part of the panel’s decision, the breach – a Level I breach – occurred during his tenure, hence the lost wins.
According to the panel’s decision, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) reports that Alexander was ineligible to play because his father received $180,150 in embezzled funds from John Paul Funes, the former head of Baton’s Our Lady of the Lake Foundation Rouge, had received .
Funes also offered Alexander’s mother a job at the eponymous hospital, while his father received five years of recurring payments, despite not working at events more than five times. The panel found that LSU was not properly monitoring Funes and his involvement with the team.
“The institution (LSU) only became aware of and did not report (Alexander’s) suspension to the NCAA in November 2018,” the NCAA’s case document reads, “and (Funes) continued to represent athletics interests through October 1 .” , 2020.”
The NCAA has only allowed a three-year probationary period for the program. It begins in September after a one-year suspended sentence for various recruiting violations committed by former offense coach James Cregg.
The NCAA said its decision to grant three-year probation was influenced by the Tigers’ self-imposed penalties over the past three years. Aside from the freed wins, that includes a post-season suspension in 2020; Eight Football Scholarships Cut; and restricting official and unofficial visits, communication with recruits, and off-campus recruiting.
“The hearing panel also placed significant weight on LSU’s self-imposed penalties, particularly the non-compete on its football program after the 2020-21 season,” the IRP ruling reads.
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Les Miles remember
Miles’ career record – which included stints at Oklahoma State and Kansas in addition to LSU – was 143-73 (.665) before LSU had 37 wins. The current standings are 108-73 (.597) and the Tigers’ official 2012 record is 0-3; 0-3 in 2013; 0-5 in 2014; and 0-3 in 2015.
Here’s a year-over-year breakdown of his tally, including missed wins:
|2001||State of Oklahoma||4-7|
|2002||State of Oklahoma||8-5|
|2003||State of Oklahoma||9-4|
|2004||State of Oklahoma||7-5|
* 10 wins free
** 8 wins free
*** 9 wins free
Is Les Miles eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame?
Coaches to be eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame must have coached a minimum of 10 years and 100 games while achieving a career win ratio of .600. Further criteria are a three-year break from coaching or having reached the age of 70.
Miles, who will turn 70 on November 10, 2023, was released from Kansas in 2020 after allegations of sexual harassment while at LSU. He could be picked up after the 2023 season until LSU took 37 wins off his record.
The College Football Hall of Fame recognizes official NCAA records by coaches, according to a report by The Athletic. With 37 of Miles’ wins streaked from the official NCAA record books – giving him a career win ratio of .597 – he is now ineligible for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
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LSU Statement Regarding the NCAA Ruling
LSU President William F. Tate IV and Athletic Director Scott Woodward issued a joint statement in response to Thursday’s NCAA decision. According to NOLA.com:
The more than five-year enforcement process for LSU’s men’s basketball and soccer programs is now complete. LSU has always taken compliance with NCAA rules seriously and the institution has worked fully with NCAA enforcement personnel and then with members of the Complex Case Unit as part of the Independent Accountability Resolution process.
We are pleased that our current male basketball student-athletes are not being punished for the actions of others and that the Independent Resolution Board has accepted our self-imposed penalties for football. We thank the members of the panel for their time and fairness. LSU is moving forward now, along with our passionate fans who support our current coaches and student-athletes in both men’s basketball and football.