Les Miles' $549K pay raise approved by LSU board

Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU football coach Les Miles has a new seven-year contract that pays him a $4.3 million annual salary and keeps him in Tiger Stadium through the 2019 season.

The university system's Board of Supervisors backed the contract extension Friday, giving Miles a $549,000 - or 15 percent - increase.

"When you study the body of work that the man has done over the last eight years, I believe that he has run a quality program, one of the top programs in the country. And in my evaluation, all indications look like we're still going to be there, we're going to stay on that track," Athletics Director Joe Alleva told the board.

Since becoming LSU's coach in 2005, Miles has lodged the second-highest number of wins in university history, with a record of 85-21. LSU finished No. 14 for the 2012 season, going 10-3 and losing to Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Miles, who didn't attend Friday's meeting, and Alleva agreed to the new deal in December, after Arkansas contacted Miles about its then-vacant head coaching job.

The board approved the pay raise and contract extension with little discussion and no objections, but the salary bump didn't come without some criticism from outside the board.

Four LSU faculty members contrasted the pay raise for Miles against the lack of a salary increase for university professors and instructors, who haven't received raises for several years as the Baton Rouge campus faced repeated budget cuts.

They said morale is low, faculty and staff are looking for jobs elsewhere and some instructors earn so little that they can qualify for food stamps.

"Give the coach his raise. He's earned it. Then, get down to business and find a way to fuel the real future of this state before it's too late," said Bill Armstrong, collection development coordinator for LSU Libraries.

Said Lois Kuyper-Rushing, an LSU librarian, "I ask simply that LSU reward all successful people in its employ ... The rest of the LSU family needs recognition for their years of service and success."

Board members said they were sympathetic to the faculty concerns and hoped a system-wide university reorganization will help improve the campus financial situation. But they also noted that Miles' pay comes from the athletic department budget, which is self-generated funding and doesn't involve state dollars or tuition income.

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