Fans, students weigh in on Les Miles controversy

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In the controversy over the future of coach Les Miles, LSU fans and students fall on both sides of the debate.

"I bleed the Tigers through and through, and it's embarrassing, I mean, the way we're playing and I think a lot of it has to do with poor coaching," said Mike Serio, an LSU fan who has attended nearly 400 consecutive games. Grilling near the stadium before Saturday's game, he said it may be time for LSU to let Miles go.

"I get angry when he loses like everybody else, but I don't want him to be going somewhere else," said fan and season ticket-holder Darrell Campbell, who wants to see Miles stay at LSU.

After three straight losses and years of declining SEC Conference records, the fate of the coach weighs in the balance. Some LSU watchers speculate an announcement about his future could come as early as Sunday.

"Les is a prince of a guy, he's a great person, great family man - you hate to see somebody in a predicament like that," said Serio, echoing countless other fans who praised the coach as a person.

"He's a good guy," said fan Charles Dorhauer. "He may be quirky, but I think that's why LSU fans love him."

Fans were critical, however, of the quality of his performance as a leader on the field.

"Les doesn't recruit any bad actors but I think as far as football discipline, we're deficient," Serio said.

Other called for LSU to give the coach at least one more year. They were also critical of the university's handling of the situation.

"Am I frustrated with how the offense is working, yeah, so is everyone in the stadium," Dorhauer said. "But to fire him this way... If you're going to fire him, come out and say it."

On campus, the LSU student body is just as divided on what to do about Miles.

"I think he should stay," said freshman Ben Ainsworth.

"I think we have way too much talent on the team right now to be losing three straight games in a row," said junior Chelsea LeBlanc. "He's one of the top recruiters, which is great, but if you can't coach a team and make them good enough to beat Alabama - I mean, that's our main rival. I think it's time."

"I'm not so certain hiring a new coach is a sure fire thing - it's kind of a gamble," said senior Zach Sirera. He went on to criticize the university. "The guy has kind of been the face of LSU sports for 10 years. To imply that we're going to show him the door in the middle of the season is kind of disrespectful."

Regardless of what side of the debate, everyone could agree on one point. They want a victory Saturday over Texas A&M.

"I just want him to have a great night tonight and give Miles a victory. If it's his last one here, I hope it's a great one," Campbell said.

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