HOOVER, Ala. -- Les Miles’ appearance at SEC media days on Thursday was a mix of the funny, the random and the serious.
All in all, it was just another day in the park with the mercurial LSU head coach appropriately nicknamed “The Mad Hatter.”
Miles attempted speak with an Australian accent and compared cell phones and computers to cars and horse-and-buggies. And that was just the beginning.
He started off his address to the media talking about what he has been up to during the offseason.
“(I) did some hyperbaric oxygen therapy research,” he said. “We have two of the most noteworthy doctors in that field, Paul Harch and Keith Van Meter, in Louisiana. I operated with Our Lady of the Lake as a hospital.”
From there, he touched on rappelling down a building in May to help an adoption campaign and how the Tigers brought back punter Jamie Keehn, a native Australian.
Miles even tried to pull off an “Aussie” accent.
“Well, Australians have a higher voice,” he said, doing his best to speak in something akin to the “Down Under” dialect. “When you just speak regular English, it doesn’t quite get across.”
Miles continued to keep things light when asked about banning players from using social media. In an interesting comparison, Miles reasoned that preventing them from accessing the technology available today would be as absurd as not allowing players to drive when cars started to replace horse-and-buggies.
He just wants his players to understand they are accountable for what they post on social media and to do their best to avoid bringing bad publicity upon themselves or the football program.
“What we really are trying to do is educate and give them their brand and the responsibility that they have to understand that this is a media outlet,” he said. “(When) you put a piece of information that you think you’re just writing to your buddy, you are not.”
Miles took on a stern demeanor when the occasion called for it. When asked about the status of running back Jeremy Hill, Miles confirmed the sophomore was still suspended indefinitely following an arrest after a bar fight in Baton Rouge, La., this spring.
“I have a track record with really disciplining my team. We go through the same process that all of my guys will go through,” he said. “Frankly, you know, we’re gathering information as we go.”
Miles remains in contact with Hill “on a routine basis,” but the running back has not been allowed to participate in any team-related functions, be it meetings or workouts. In fact, Hill has not even been permitted to enter the football facility since his arrest.
“It’s been very hard on him, I know,” Miles said. “Again, we recognize there’s an ongoing process that’s going to be fulfilled. We’re going to sit on the perimeter and watch. We certainly are respectful of all that have responsibility there.”
Miles was equally resolute on the topic of scheduling. A reporter brought up that LSU will play Georgia and Florida in its SEC cross-divisional matchups this season, teams that combined to go 14-2 in conference play last season. Alabama, meanwhile, plays Tennessee and Kentucky, the East’s two cellar-dwellers in 2012 who went a combined 1-15.
Miles, not surprisingly, was far from pleased with the scheduling hand he was dealt.
“When I went to the SEC meetings, I brought all these statistics that were not necessarily listened to, but here is a for instance,” he said. “We play Georgia and Florida for the seventh time this year. I’d have to say there’s some other schools that have not played Georgia and Florida in the same year in my entire time here or since 2000.”
Regardless, Miles is once again ready for the challenge of playing against both the Bulldogs and Gators in the same season.
“I can’t hardly wait to play them,” he said. “We think at LSU that maybe we’re the only team that can have that schedule year after year and play as well as we do.”