With unprecedented sanctions against Penn State’s football program setting the agenda, LSU coach Les Miles spent much of his day Monday making appearances on a variety of ESPN platforms in Bristol, Conn., discussing the NCAA’s decision.
“I think what college football needed was a reaction from the NCAA,” Miles said on SportsCenter. “(NCAA President and former LSU Chancellor) Mark Emmert did that. I think we’re all in support. He needed to make a statement and he did.”
Later in the day, Miles said on ESPNU he hopes the NCAA sanctions on Penn State can be a “watershed moment” that allows college football to heal and move forward.
“We want to get to that piece where we can be college football again,” Miles said. “There are so many different groups to give consideration to. Certainly the young people involved, but parents, players, people at the school.
“OK, let’s get it right. Let the chips fall where they may and let’s go. Remember, it’s all about the direction.”
Asked what needs to be the reaction of new Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, Miles said he must move quickly to establish the culture of his program.
“There are a lot of people saying what he should do,” Miles said. “He’s wearing the hat today. I wish him the very best.”
Miles was not asked whether he would welcome or pursue any Penn State transfers.
Among its sanctions, Penn State was forced to vacate 112 wins — 111 of those under late coach Joe Paterno — from 1998-2011. That includes a 19-17 victory over LSU in the 2010 Capital One Bowl.
LSU senior Associate Athletic Director Herb Vincent said unless something changes later, LSU won’t be credited for winning the bowl game against Penn State.
Vincent cited a similar instance when Ohio State vacated wins from the 2010 season, including its 2011 Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas. The vacated Ohio State wins did not result in an extra victory for the Razorbacks.
Vacated wins are not the same as a forfeit, Vincent said. LSU benefited from wins in 1975 and 1976 that the NCAA forced Mississippi State to forfeit, but Vincent said the cases are not similar.
Meanwhile, LSU released a statement Monday afternoon from Athletic Director Joe Alleva regarding the Penn State sanctions:
“My hope is that the focus remains on the healing process for the victims and their families,” Alleva said. “It is also an important lesson about having an effective process of checks and balances in place at all of our institutions, and it reinforces the importance of integrity at all levels of leadership.”