Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
Les Miles is interested in the head coaching vacancy for the Ole Miss Rebels and told people close to the program as much, USA Today‘s Dan Wolken reported Sunday.
Miles would replace Hugh Freeze, who resigned Thursday. Wolken and Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde reported Freeze used a school-issued phone to call an escort service in Tampa, Florida.
Almost immediately, Miles became mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed Freeze. Bleacher Report’s Brad Shepard listed him among eight coaches who could realistically take over at Ole Miss:
“Coaching Ole Miss would give Miles the opportunity to stick it to the Tigers every single year for that, and while a lot of Rebels fans would be skeptical and maybe even angry at the hire, all it would take would be a single win over LSU to turn those frowns around.
It would be hard for [Ole Miss athletic director Ross] Bjork to do better than this.”
Miles would arrive with plenty of experience in the SEC after he spent 11.5 years with the LSU Tigers. During that time, he compiled a 114-34 record and helped win a national championship in 2007.
Miles has the coaching ability and name recognition to ease any concerns from fans that Ole Miss could be due for a decline after losing Freeze, who brought the program out of obscurity and into the national consciousness.
The specter of the NCAA looms large, though. The Rebels issued a self-imposed bowl ban in 2017 after receiving a notice of allegations from the NCAA. ESPN’s Paul Finebaum shared a few of the alleged infractions committed by the school:
Paul Finebaum @finebaum
Ole Miss responds to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations & will contest 7 of the 21 allegations. https://t.co/Z6zJhSt7PK
Ole Miss still has a meeting ahead with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, and the NCAA could deal a crippling blow to the Rebels?regardless of who their head coach is?should it find the school lacked institutional control.
The USC Trojans are a perfect example of how the tide can quickly turn against a once-successful program when it’s forced to operate under NCAA sanctions.