The LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday approved a two-year contract extension for football coach Les Miles that should keep him in Baton Rouge through 2019.
The deal bumps Miles’ annual salary from $3.751 million to $4.3 million over the seven-year term.
Friday’s board approval was something of a formality after details of the new contract were first announced in December. It came together around the same time the University of Arkansas was courting Miles for its then-vacant head coaching position.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Miles hadn’t had a raise in five years despite deserving one.
“We planned all along to give him a raise, but then Arkansas came along and gave him a very good offer so that sped up the process,” Alleva said Friday.
A few hours before Miles’ new pay package became official, the board heard from faculty who congratulated the football coach on his success and offered support for his contract extension.
But Lois Kuyper-Rushing, with LSU Libraries, explained that half the department’s workforce — 20 staffers — has left in the last five years, including 17 who left LSU to find other jobs.
None of the department of faculty had received has had a cost-of-living raise since 2008.
“Please, go ahead and give Mr. Miles his 15 percent raise ...,” she said. “But the rest of the LSU family needs recognition.”
Associate Librarian Mike Russo warned the board that giving Miles a raise “while simultaneously remaining mute on the subject of faculty compensation will only serve to solidify” the caricature in the public’s mind that LSU is nationally known as a football team, not as an institution of higher learning.
Alleva noted that only $300,000 of Miles’ salary comes from LSU. Additionally, the Athletic Department gave $11 million to the university last year.
“That money is generated from football,” Alleva said. “That’s why we need a strong program.”
Miles’ contract is loaded with a number of incentives including a car allowance and the opportunity for Miles to earn up to $500,000 annually in post-regular season benefits.
Miles would earn:
Should the Tigers win a national championship, Miles’ contract would be adjusted “to be no less than the highest salary of public institutions within the SEC, plus $1,000,” the contract says.
The contract contains a number of other incentives rewarding Miles for player academic performance, graduation rates and cumulative team grade-point average.
Since the season ended Dec. 31 with a last-second 25-24 loss to Clemson University in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, a record 11 underclassmen have declared their intent to enter the National Football League draft in April.
But LSU is expected to land one of the top recruiting classes in the country on National Signing Day on Wednesday.
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