Les Miles sues LSU for vacating wins, making him ineligible for College Football Hall of Fame

Losing 37 wins dropped Miles below the .600 winning percentage required

Former LSU football coach Les Miles has filed a lawsuit against the school, arguing that a 2023 decision to vacate 37 wins from the program prevented him from being considered for the College Football Hall of Fame.

In addition to LSU, Miles also named the NCAA and National Football Foundation (which manages the College Football Hall of Fame) as defendants in the lawsuit. According to documents, Miles asserts that the school vacating wins to which he held property rights cost him a nomination to the Hall of Fame, reports ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

Miles coached LSU from 2005 through 2016, compiling an official record of 77–34 (unofficially 114–34) with a BCS national championship in 2007. He has the second-most coaching wins in school history, behind Charlie McClendon.

FILE - LSU coach Les Miles watches his team warm up before an NCAA college football game against Florida in Baton Rouge, La., Oct. 17, 2015. Former LSU coach Les Miles is suing the university over its decision to vacate 37 victories between 2012 and 2015. The lawsuit filed Monday, June 17, 2024, in federal court in Baton Rouge alleges that LSU never gave Miles a chance to be heard before altering his career record in a way that disqualified him from being considered for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
Les Miles was LSU's head football coach from 2005 through 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

In 2023, the school vacated 37 wins from 2012–15 due to recruiting violations involving alleged payments totaling nearly $200,000 to the father of offensive lineman Vadal Alexander by a former booster.

Alexander was ruled ineligible and LSU vacated every win in which he played as a self-imposed penalty.

Without those 37 wins, Miles' overall record as a head coach was changed to 108–73 (instead of 145–73). That reduced his career winning percentage to .597, below the threshold of .600 required for College Football Hall of Fame eligibility.

"A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years old. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage."

The lawsuit also argues that Miles wasn't given due process by LSU and the NCAA, while the school's self-imposed penalties were far more severe than it would have otherwise received in a ruling. Miles' agent, George Bass, added in a news release that LSU "promised us its help in undoing this injustice" but "went back on its word."

Miles, 69, last coached in 2020 at Kansas, where he finished with a 3–18 record in two seasons. He and the school mutually decided to part ways in light of sexual harassment allegations from his time at LSU. During his coaching career, Miles also compiled a 28–21 record at Oklahoma State.