Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Reports: Les Miles accused of sexual harassment while at LSU; reached settlement with an LSU student

Kansas head coach Les Miles watches practice before an NCAA college football game against Indiana State Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas head coach Les Miles watches practice before an NCAA college football game against Indiana State Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Now the head football coach at the University of Kansas, Les Miles during his tenure at LSU faced allegations of sexual harassment and reached a settlement with one former student intern, according to reports that surfaced on Wednesday.

Miles years ago reached a settlement with a former LSU Athletic Department student intern who accused the then Tigers head coach of “hitting on her,” according to a report from The Advocate and The Times-Picayune.

Additionally, USA TODAY reported LSU put together an internal investigation in 2013 to look into allegations that Miles sexually harassed and made sexist comments about student workers. USA TODAY reported an outside law firm’s investigation deemed he acted improperly, but LSU never appeared to punish its head football coach.

News of the settlement came to light, per The Advocate and The Times-Picayune, as LSU’s handling of sexual misconduct and domestic violence complaints has been investigated in recent months, all stemming from a USA TODAY report in November regarding those issues on the LSU campus.

LSU’s vice president of strategic communications, Jim Sabourin told The Advocate and Times-Picayune that LSU learned of the settlement through its own internal investigation, but LSU was “not a party to it.”

Via phone call, The Advocate and Times-Picayune reported, Miles denied harassing the student about a decade ago.

“That’s not true,” Miles told the Louisiana news outlets.

KU responded to the Journal-World Wednesday afternoon regarding the report, via Dan Beckler, KU Athletics’ associate athletic director for public relations.

“The University of Kansas is aware of a media report today involving KU head football coach Les Miles. We have spoken with Coach Miles about the allegations in the story and will continue to gather information that is made available to us. KU was not aware of these allegations when Coach Miles was hired in 2018,” Beckler said.

“Because this involves Coach Miles’ former employer and predates his time at KU, and because we do not have factual knowledge about details of these allegations, it is not appropriate for us to comment further,” he concluded.

The Journal-World followed up with further questions for Beckler, but he reiterated Kansas Athletics wouldn’t be issuing any more comments on the matter.

Beckler was asked whether Miles is still handling all of his typical football responsibilities while KU gathers information about the allegations. Additionally, he was asked whether Kansas Athletics is confident Miles appropriately understands the seriousness of sexual harassment and whether the coach has conducted himself appropriately at KU.

A request for comments from Miles made by the Journal-World received no response. Questions directed to Miles through the athletic department included whether he participated in the settlement detailed in Wednesday’s report, as well as whether he understands the seriousness of sexual harassment and whether he has exhibited appropriate behavior since he became the football coach at KU.

KU Athletic Director Jeff Long hired Miles to take over the struggling football program in November of 2018, a little more than two years after LSU fired Miles four games into the 2016 season. Miles signed a five-year contract with KU that could keep him in charge of the Jayhawks through the conclusion of the 2023 season.

Questions from the Journal-World directed to the office of KU Chancellor Douglas Girod didn’t receive a response Wednesday. Among them included whether the chancellor thought KU had enough information about the allegations involving Miles, and whether KU is seeking out additional information on the matter.

According to The Advocate and Times-Picayune’s report, the settlement doesn’t turn up in searches of Baton Rouge court records.

Per USA TODAY, its reporters requested records regarding LSU’s internal investigation of Miles this past December, but LSU didn’t release them, pointing to the former LSU coach’s “right to privacy” and “attorney-client privilege.”

The national paper also reported that in court documents Miles’ attorneys argued the details of the investigation needed to stay private because the allegations made “were found to be without corroborative evidence” and the process “did not result in any discipline or finding of wrongdoing.”

USA TODAY shared that it sued LSU in January for a copy of the investigation report, and days ahead of the first hearing on the matter Miles’ attorneys intervened by filing paperwork. A judge granted a temporary restraining order, USA TODAY reported, that barred the records’ release until a decision was reached.

According to USA TODAY, Miles’ attorneys and LSU will be briefed on the matter and a judge will make a final decision after a hearing on March 30.

Miles coached LSU from 2005 to 2016, winning the 2007 national title.


Matt Gauntt 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Congratulations on your clickbait article.

Len Shaffer 1 month, 3 weeks ago

WTF are you talking about?????????

You don't think that it's relevant news to find out that the current KU football coach has been accused of sexual harassment in the past?????

It's not clickbait at all!

Matt Gauntt 1 month, 3 weeks ago

It's one thing if it was adjudicated and there was some facts. At this point, it is a secret issue, no details, no determination if the details are accurate, no names, no nothing.

All we know is that the University decided to make some settlement instead of going through a lengthy process.

We don't even know the amount of the settlement.

If the University was faced with a $20 million lawsuit and settled for $10 million....OK, that would tell me that there might be something there, otherwise why not fight the case.

If the University settled for $100,000....That might tell me that it was easier to get rid of the case, and it might also tell me that the evidence on the other side wasn't very strong...why else settle for such a low amount.

All we know is that the LJ World has chosen to publish an unsubstantiated article with no details except "SEXUAL HARRASSMENT!!!!". is absolutely clickbait and the paper should be ashamed. I thought Benton was a better journalist than this, but maybe he is auditioning for Buzzfeed.

Dale Rogers 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Yes, they did the same thing when one of the basketball players (Vick??) was accused by that girl of punching her in the stomach and pushing her down the stairs. Then a doctor found no bruises or any sign of her having been hit in the stomach. They did find a bruise where he grabbed her arm. And a security video showed Vick was actually the victim and the girl was totally at fault. If I recall, she was then charged and the charges against Vick were dropped. The media tends to highlight the sensational even though they don't have the facts. Headlines can be so misleading.

Jonathan Allison 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Seems you are mostly describing Carlton Bragg's arrest, but may be confusing it with the separate allegations against Vick. Both of them had issues with the same girl if I recall correctly, though Vick's alleged accuser was a different girl. Claimed that he closed her arm in a door and kicked her in the gut or something... They all run together now.

Either way your point is valid.

Jim Stauffer 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Maybe I am misunderstanding the reports, Matt, but I thought they indicated LSU was not involved in any way with this settlement. I believe they indicated Miles and the student arranged the settlement between themselves.

duke hester 1 month, 3 weeks ago

So guess Len Shaffer is polly pureheart to think something over 8 years old and settled is big deal news!! Wow,,,, talk about clickbait! guess he has lots of time on his hands....LOL

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