Les Miles fired after going 114-34 (77%) at LSU
Les Miles has been one of college football’s most successful and colorful coaches for more than a decade, but he nonetheless was fired this week by Louisiana State University. Known as “The Mad Hatter” because of his audacious play-calling and because he liked to eat a clump of grass from his home field before the start of a game, Miles put together a record that would be envy of just about any coach but Nick Saban. Miles was 114-34 (77%) at LSU and appeared in two national championship games, winning one of them. But alumni were disappointed that he could not supplant Alabama’s head coach as the dominant force in the Southeastern Conference. Saban has won his past five meetings with Miles. The Tigers were ranked 18th entering Saturday’s game against Auburn, which they lost 18-13. LSU appeared to have won the game with a last-second touchdown pass, but it was nullified when replays showed time had expired before the final snap.
Irish coach Kelly rips his players, fires his coordinator
Brian Kelly was anything but a gracious loser when his Notre Dame Fighting Irish were upset 38-35 by 21-point underdog Duke in a game Saturday. “Every position, all 22 of them, will be evaluated,” the coach said in his postgame media conference. “There is no position that’s untouchable on this football team. And that’s the quarterback all the way down to – maybe the long snapper’s OK. We’re not going to touch him, but everybody else is vulnerable.” He singled out QB DeShone Kizer’s performance as “below standard” and “not acceptable.” Kizer passed for 381 yards and ran for 60 but suffered two turnovers. “We had one guy on the entire football team that had emotion and fire . . . Dexter Williams (running back), that’s the only one.” Kelly was not in a better mood the next day, when he fired his defensive coordinator, Brian VanGorder. “When you’re 1-3 at Notre Dame,” Kelly said, “changes are going to be made. Our defense simply isn’t where it should be, and I believe this change is necessary for the best interest of our program and our student athletes.”
Riley rules out Bosh returning to Heat
Pat Riley, president of the Miami Heat, has given up on center Chris Bosh overcoming a blood-clotting condition and playing for the team again. After Bosh failed a physical last week, Riley said it was time to move on. “There is not a next step for us. We are not working toward his return.” He objected to media reports that he had “written off” the 11-time All-Star without allowing time for the blood-clotting condition to be cured. “Contrary to how this thing has been perpetuated in the media, we have worked very, very hard with Chris. Our doctors were very conscientious. Whoever he wanted as a second, third and fourth opinion, we talked to.” Riley built an NBA championship team around the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Bosh. But now James is in Cleveland, Wade is in Chicago, and Bosh is in limbo, perhaps heading somewhere, as he’s indicated he wants to play again.
Jays’ Benoit trips, tears calf trying to join melee
As a bench-clearing brawl was beginning between the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night, lefthanded reliever Joaquin Benoit rushed from the bullpen but tripped and tore his left calf muscle. The Jays are leading the AL Wild Card race, but Benoit is not expected to be healthy for the playoffs unless his team reaches the World Series. “It felt like something hit me,” he said. “I won’t be able to get on the mound anytime soon.” He’s been the Jays’ best reliever recently, going 2-0 with a save while giving up only one run in 23 innings.