BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU football fans are used to heart-pounding fourth quarter calls, but not from school administrators.
President F. King Alexander confirmed Thursday the final decision to keep Les Miles as head coach was made during a meeting after halftime of the Texas A&M game.
In an interview with the Baton Rouge Business Report, he said several factors contributed to that decision, including the high cost of a potential buyout, $15 million for Miles and another $2 million for his coaching staff. Alexander said that support from fans in the days leading up to the game on Nov. 29 also played a part in the decision as well as Miles' winning record over 11 seasons at LSU.
"Decisions like that are complex and complicated and based on performance history, the direction of the program and oftentimes they don't have easy answers," Alexander said in the interview. "You have to weigh everything. A lot of people out there said we had to do something. Half the people said we don't have to do anything and emotions were all over the place. Somehow you have to not overreact to the emotions and weigh all the factors."
He said Athletic Director Joe Alleva and several members of the LSU Board of Supervisors were in on those last-minute talks.
"It was a combination of factors and a decision that we made collectively," Alexander told the Business Report. "We weighed all the factors in all this and it was a joint decision between many of our board members, our AD and many of us decided this was the wrong time and wrong place (to replace Miles.)"
In the interview, Alexander also talked about Alleva and how both men were on the same page when it came to the decision. He said he has a "very good working relationship" with the AD as well as Miles.