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Toxicity Has An Expiration Date For Everyone Except Les Miles

“What he did is the definition of toxicity, and he admits that it all happened. He is a liability for any school, network, or other institution that hires him.”

Demetri Ravanos

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There was a time when if you asked college football fans who the ideal replacement for Lee Corso would be when the time came for the coach to step down from ESPN’s College GameDay, you would almost uniformly hear Les Miles name. He came off as a delightful weirdo with a championship résumé while at LSU. Plus, he gave funny, folksy quotes during press conferences. It seemed like he would be a natural fit on television when he was done coaching.

Kansas, former LSU coach Les Miles finalizing details of agreement to lead  Jayhawks - CBSSports.com

Now though? Not so much.

After being fired by LSU during the 2016 season, he auditioned for an analyst role at FOX. Miles told a church group that he didn’t want to follow directions and have to fit into anyone’s idea of what he needed to be on TV. There are plenty of us that remember the few games he did broadcast on FOX and the truth is that Miles was AWFUL! The fun loving weirdo we all knew had turned into just a dry bore that had no opinion about anything.

That fact is on the back burner though. The real reason Miles isn’t going to be on top of anyone’s list of potential future broadcast stars is because of what we now know he was doing during his time in Baton Rouge. The school’s athletic director suggested Miles be fired with cause in 2013 after multiple female students accused the then-coach of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact.

Those accusations and the news that Miles had paid some of these women settlements coming to light have lead to his firing as the head coach at the University of Kansas and the firing of Kansas AD Jeff Long.

I don’t know that I believe Miles, if he were remotely good as a broadcaster, would never get a job in the media because of these allegations. Don’t get me wrong. That should be the reason enough for every network to take a hard pass, but when it comes to TV and radio, history shows us that just about everyone’s toxicity has a timeline.

Just look at FOX’s Major League Baseball coverage. Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz both used steroids during their careers. I am told that is a major sin in the baseball world (Although, let’s be fair. There is nothing boring about a sport full of genetically modified monsters hitting balls 700 feet). Yet they are both staples of the network’s postseason.

In 2015 the network hired Pete Rose to be part of its baseball crew as well. Betting on baseball is a sin that got Rose banned from the sport for life and left him ineligible for Hall of Fame induction. All that was forgiven though when FOX wanted to make a splash hire. FOX did eventually decide that Rose was too toxic but it took allegations of sex with underage women to get to that point.

Urban Meyer, literally a year removed from resigning in some disgrace as Ohio State’s head coach, landed on the set of FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff. Meyer is undeniably an elite football mind. When FOX hired him though, he was fresh off a scandal stemming from how he behaved and reacted when the wife of his wide receivers coach had reached out for help as she was repeatedly a victim of domestic violence.

Urban Meyer won't say if Jaguars will draft Trevor Lawrence

Meyer may have had to exit his job in Columbus, but he had TV to bail him out and give him a place to showcase his knowledge of the game. Look how that worked out. He landed an NFL job with the first pick in the draft and a chance to select a once-in-a-lifetime QB.

It’s not just FOX. ESPN hired Ray Lewis, Michael Irvin, Ryan Leaf, Curt Schilling, and others that came with red flags, or to use an NFL Draft term – “character concerns.” At one point they were toxic, so ESPN waited. Once it was decided that enough time had passed and enough people had lost interest in their respective pasts, the World Wide Leader put them on TV.

I want to be perfectly clear. No one should hire Les Miles again. What he did is the definition of toxicity, and he admits that it all happened. He is a liability for any school, network, or other institution that hires him.

My point is simply without those truly awful showings on FOX in the 2017 season, I am not sure there is reason to believe that the guy is completely untouchable in the television world. If you can turn a profit, someone will hire you.

For God’s sake, look at Mike Tyson. This is a guy that went from scariest human being on the planet to convicted rapist, to laughing stock, to America’s sweetheart! Again, he denies none of the accusations against him, and yet we found a place for him in the entertainment world.

Why? Because he knows how to perform and he knows how to get people to pay attention. It may not be fair, but it is reality.

Mike Tyson Mysteries” TV Review on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim - Variety

Les Miles won’t have a lot of options for employment going forward. But what about the next coach to admit to doing what he did? What if that guy is great on camera? What if an unapologetic racist has enough name recognition and knows how to own a room?

For all of the bemoaning of cancel culture you hear in the media, the media may be the ultimate argument for there being no such thing. Our business has proven over and over again that it will overlook a lot for a ratings point.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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