POSTED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 10:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 10:19pm
Baton Rouge, LA (NBC33) — Les Miles is fighting to protect his reputation.
He denied reports that he committed major NCAA violations when he was the coach at Oklahoma State.
"I had no idea that this would be anything like this," Miles said of the series of articles from Sports Illustrated.
SI is publishing installments each day this week about rules that were allegedly broken at Oklahoma State, some while Les Miles was their coach. The magazine quotes former players who say that they received cash from coaches and boosters; that tutors helped them cheat on coursework, or guided them to classes whose professors favored athletes; that they were paid for no-show jobs; and that female students, acting as hostesses, had sex with recruits to convince them to attend OSU.
At a news conference Wednesday evening, Miles defended his record and his methods.
"We did things correctly," he stated. "And to say that, I have a very strong feeling that this thing was done right, period.
"But I wasn't there at every place, all the time. But that being said, the things we did, we did right."
Even though the claims are serious, Tigers fans packed TJ Ribs to watch his radio show Wednesday night and show their support.
Tom Lusk described the series as a poor attempt to sell magazines.
"Les Miles is too honest and worked too hard to believe any of that garbage," Lusk said.
Even though the NCAA does not have the power to punish Miles, because the alleged infractions occurred so long ago, coaches have been run out of town for lesser crimes. Additionally, LSU fans are not always sure Miles is the right man to lead their team. But on this topic, they are as supportive as can be, in part because of the way he denied taking part in any misdoings.
"It redoubles my belief in him," Lusk said. "I think more of him for what he's done."
Miles said his players have every reason to believe him, too. He has already spoken to them about his tenure at Oklahoma State, which lasted from 2001-2004.
"I said these things: I said that, 'frankly, I've treated you the same, and you guys know me,' Miles recalled. "So if there was any impropriety, they sure as heck would know it.
"I think that they understand it. I think they understand distraction. I think they're ready to get going. I don't think that there's anything that our guys are carrying with them."
Miles said he had a couple of conversations with members of his Oklahoma State staffs, but nothing in depth. He added that he wanted to wait to address any of the specific accusations.
"At some point in time, I'm going to watershed the issues, kinda have my say. But right now, I'm preparing the team, and I'm really kinda focused on that," he said.