Rabalais: On money, Miles and stadiums

Advocate fiel photoLSU football coach Les Miles was implicated Tuesday in a report by Sports Illustrated of fostering an environment where boosters had access to players to provide cash payments and implicit knowledge of phantom jobs for players to receive regular payments during his tenure at Oklahoma State from 2001 until 2004. Miles has denied any knowledge of improprieties.
Advocate fiel photoLSU football coach Les Miles was implicated Tuesday in a report by Sports Illustrated of fostering an environment where boosters had access to players to provide cash payments and implicit knowledge of phantom jobs for players to receive regular payments during his tenure at Oklahoma State from 2001 until 2004. Miles has denied any knowledge of improprieties.

By Scott rabalais

Advocate sportswriter

Notes on a Royal Lytham & St. Annes scorecard while I try to calculate how much sleep the British Open — and the London Olympics — are going to end up costing me ...

... Knowing how many faculty members there are on college campuses who detest major college athletics (you could fill Tiger Stadium with them and have a waiting list, especially for the club seats), one wonders if the LSU athletic department has picked up any Facebook faculty friends after the announcement late last week that it is donating $5.5 million to the university’s ailing academic side for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The money will help the university avoid staff and faculty cuts, LSU Chancellor Mike Martin said.

No doubt college athletics has grown too big and expensive and powerful in general. And coaches are grossly overpaid. Personally, I wish the NCAA could impose a $1 million ceiling on head coaches’ salaries. These guys have important and stressful jobs, but attacking 4-3 defenses is not finding a sustainable source of energy or figuring out how to reverse coastal erosion. But it is worth repeating that LSU’s particular athletic department does not take one dime in university funds or student fees, generating all its cash through TV contracts, ticket sales, merchandising, etc., and typically giving some back.

Now, getting those faculty and staff whose jobs were saved tickets to the LSU-Alabama game? That’s another matter.

... Speaking of highly paid coaches, LSU’s Les Miles will be heading back to Bristol, Conn., along with six other SEC football coaches Monday for a series of appearances on the full gamut of ESPN platforms (the other seven coaches head there Tuesday).

Miles’ schedule (all times Central) is as follows: 10:20 a.m., SportsCenter; 10:35 a.m., Twitter chat; 11 a.m., Dan LeBatard Show; 11:30 a.m., Scott Van Pelt radio show; 11:45 a.m., GameDay radio; 12:05 p.m., ESPNU; 12:20 p.m., @ESPNCFB questions; 12:45 p.m., College Football Live show; 1 p.m., ESPN.com chat; 1:40 p.m., Playbook; 2:15 p.m., SportsCenter Tonight radio; 2:45 p.m., SportsNation.

Also in Bristol on Monday: Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M; Gene Chizik, Auburn; Derek Dooley, Tennessee; James Franklin, Vanderbilt; Gary Pinkel, Missouri; Dan Mullen, Mississippi State.

... In case you’ve ever wondered how much it would cost to build a new 90,000-plus seat Tiger Stadium, perhaps the new stadium project at Baylor gives a good indication.

Baylor’s board of regents gave approval to building a 45,000-seat stadium on campus, right on the banks of the Brazos River in Waco. The price tag: about $250 million, which makes you believe a new Tiger Stadium would cost $500 million or more in current dollars.

While the original sideline sections of Tiger Stadium are nearing their 90th season of service in 2014, the cost plus the history and emotions tied into the old gray lady on Nicholson Drive pretty much insures it will endure for decades.