Posted: 7:08 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, 2013
By Brandon Larrabee
So, what are your Tuesday morning plans? Well, if you don't have anything better to do, might I suggest checking out SI.com. Why, you might ask. Oh, no reason. Just call it a hunch.
SI announces it will publish "The Dirty Game," a 5-part series on the Oklahoma State football program, beginning at 9 a.m. ET Tuesday.— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) September 9, 2013
What does this have to do with the SEC? Oh, quite a bit.
From SI release: "Transgressions began under Les Miles ... and continued under current head coach Mike Gundy."— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) September 9, 2013
Tennessee, did I mention how well you did on your head-coaching search? Well, maybe it's not that bad. After all, we've all seen hyped up stories from SI before, and --
Re: SI's series on Oklahoma State football, parts are titled: 1. Money. 2. Academics. 3. Drugs. 4. Sex. 5. The Fallout— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) September 9, 2013
Ah. Well. That would seem to be bad.
What does this mean for Les Miles? Maybe nothing. Miles left Oklahoma State after the 2004 season, which would put him well outside the statute of limitations of four years for NCAA violations. Though there is a caveat.
The NCAA's four-year statute of limitations doesn't apply when there is a pattern of willful violations that continues into the past four years.
Presumably, that affects programs. But I'm not quite sure whether it would affect people; the only thing the NCAA could do to Miles that would affect LSU would be to slap a show-cause on Miles, which could force him to step down from coaching. But we're a long way from that, and the effectiveness of any show-cause would likely come down to whether LSU was willing to try to weather the penalties or not. Which is impossible to know, seeing as how we haven't even seen the story yet and don't know what the NCAA could or couldn't prove, much less how harshly they would punish Miles.
The bigger threats to Miles seem to be two-fold. First, might the NCAA want to take a look-see into Miles' program at LSU if the allegations about Oklahoma State under his tenure turn out to be true? I would think so. That could be a huge problem for Miles and the school. And even if the NCAA isn't willing to initiate anything, there's always the chance that one story leads to another and suddenly there are some recruits from LSU talking, and we all know where it goes from there.
The more immediate threat comes down to how much Sports Illustrated is able to pin on Miles and how strongly. And then it becomes a matter of LSU's bad PR threshold. Are they willing to stand behind a coach who's tied to academic fraud at another school? Drugs? Sex? If there's no evidence of those things at LSU, there's no reason for the higher-ups in Baton Rouge to get rid of Miles, who's well-liked and gets results. But only if they're willing to endure getting hammered by the media for weeks.
Right now, there's no reason to say that this report will be the end for Oklahoma State or Miles. But check back with us in about 14 hours.