Advertisement

Friday, March 5, 2021

LSU’s Title IX review includes allegations Les Miles ‘attempted to sexualize’ student staff; KU places him on administrative leave

AD recommended Miles' firing in 2013, report shows

Kansas head coach Les Miles surveys his team during football practice on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 within the new indoor practice facility.

Kansas head coach Les Miles surveys his team during football practice on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 within the new indoor practice facility.

Advertisement

More allegations surfaced on Friday that University of Kansas football coach Les Miles “attempted to sexualize” football student employees when he was the head coach at LSU, and KU Athletic Director Jeff Long placed Miles on administrative leave.

Long announced the move Friday evening, several hours after LSU released a Title IX review by law firm Husch Blackwell during its board of supervisors meeting.

According to a statement from Long, KU will conduct “a full review” of that and another LSU internal investigation from 2013 released on Thursday that included allegations that Miles kissed a female student employee.

The extensive LSU Title IX review released on Friday includes comments from an LSU athletic department employee, Sharon Lewis, in May of 2019 that describe alleged misconduct by Miles. According to the report, Lewis alleged that after LSU lost the 2012 national title game, Miles “attempted to sexualize” the football program’s student staff, allegedly stating he wanted “blondes with the big boobs” and “pretty girls.” Husch Blackwell reported that Lewis’ account was corroborated by several witnesses during its review.

According to Long, KU didn’t have access to either report from the past two days until they were made public.

“Even though the allegations against him occurred at LSU, we take these matters very seriously at KU,” Long said in a release. “Now that we have access to this information, we will take the coming days to fully review the material and to see if any additional information is available. I do not want to speculate on a timeline for our review because it is imperative we do our due diligence. We will be able to comment further once our review is complete.”

According to the Husch Blackwell report, one LSU student employee in the football department was described as “completely traumatized” when asking Lewis for assistance in confronting Miles with allegations.

After that incident, the athletic department directed Miles to refrain from contact with student workers.

The report stated that Husch Blackwell was “not in a position to offer an opinion on whether the allegations against (Miles) are true or not.” Rather, the report said, the issue was that LSU didn’t respond to the allegations made against Miles in a manner consistent with “then-existing legal guidance” or recognized best practices.

At least three witnesses referenced in the report recalled Miles labeling student workers as “a.m. and p.m. girls” — a designation Miles reportedly openly gave to female football staffers. The report stated several other employees recalled Miles referring to the student workers as looking like a “bad bowling team.”

Husch Blackwell noted there was no record of reports of sex discrimination in LSU’s files, nor record of those reports being investigated.

Miles denied any inappropriate behavior, according to the report. Though Miles was deemed to have acted inappropriately by LSU, the extent of any punishment only included attending training.

Another part of the report revealed that then-LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva recommended Miles be fired for cause in 2013 following LSU’s internal investigation into the allegations. Alleva pointed to Miles’ “inappropriate behavior” and said he was putting LSU and the football program “at great risk.”

Long hired Miles to take over the struggling Kansas 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.

The contract Miles signed with Kansas Athletics Inc. in November 2018 states that if Miles were fired without cause, he would be owed the remaining amount of his contract — which pays him $2.775 million per year.

The contract also identified a number of scenarios in which Miles could be fired with “just cause” — scenarios in which KU wouldn’t have to pay him a buyout.

Some areas that qualify as just cause include the coach’s participation in “any act, situation, or occurrence, or any conduct, which in (Kansas Athletics') judgement brings (Miles) and/or KU into public disrepute, embarrassment, contempt, or ridicule or any public or private comments that disparage KU or Athletics, its personnel, programs, policies and/or departments, or that case damage to KU’s reputation.”

As previously reported by The Advocate, Miles reached a settlement with one student who made allegations against him.

Lewis, as described in the report, became distressed by the lack of support from LSU’s administration and alleged that Miles and other LSU athletics staff members became hostile toward her.

The Husch Blackwell report also said that Sports Illustrated published a story in 2013 about Miles’ Oklahoma State football program’s use of student hostesses. The SI article said that OSU’s so-called “Orange Pride” program emphasized attracting “prettier and more outgoing women.” More than a dozen former OSU players told SI a small number of “Orange Pride” members had sexual relations with players during recruiting visits. Miles said at the time of the SI report that he wasn’t aware of recruits sleeping with student hostesses.

LSU hired the Husch Blackwell law firm to investigate how the university’s administration and employees had mishandled instances of sexual misconduct and sexual violence in recent years, after USA Today’s reporting on several such instances came out in November 2020.

Scott D. Schneider, from Husch Blackwell, joined the board of supervisors meeting via Zoom to present the findings and said the 150-page document “doesn’t hold any punches.”

The Husch Blackwell report became public a day after LSU released an internal investigative report on Miles’ behavior that was conducted in 2013. That investigation revealed that LSU reprimanded Miles after a female student employee in the athletic department alleged that Miles kissed her and suggested they visit a hotel together, USA Today reported.

The 2013 report revealed that LSU ordered Miles to stop texting, calling and being alone with student employees.

Miles denied the various allegations, including kissing the woman, at the time, and an attorney for Miles on Thursday reiterated that Miles denied any wrongdoing, USA Today reported.

According to the investigation, Miles’ behavior was found inappropriate; however, the law firm did not determine that Miles had a sexual relationship with any of the women who made allegations. The law firm that conducted the investigation said in its report that it wasn’t able to determine whether the allegation that Miles kissed a student was true. The woman alleges that Miles kissed her twice while they were driving in his car.

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

Comments

Brett McCabe 1 month, 2 weeks ago

We have an easy out. Take it. Now.

Long should go as well. He literally did no due diligence in this hire. It’s Zenger and Weis all over again.

Flush it.

Brian Wilson 1 month, 2 weeks ago

IDK Brett, so far this seems like old news. As long as Miles doesn't do anyhing while at KU I don't think we should be firing him for something thats done punished or settled on. Digging up old stuff is unfair and cheap and feels like it's coming from unhappy whiners! It tires me to see this expecially when so many leaders in society are getting away with breaking the law and nothing happens to them and yet we try to rub old stuff in someone's face years after the fact. IMO, the whiners need to just keep their mouths shut until they can find something new that is worthy of whining about.

Dale Rogers 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Also, the investigation by the firm hired by LSU stated they found nothing to corroborate the allegations. Nor did anyone else. Unless something else comes up, this smells like double jeopardy.

Andrew Juby 1 month, 2 weeks ago

From the report: Following this encounter, Lewis immediately reported the incident to Segar. According to two Athletics employees interviewed as part of our review, Student 1 met with Segar, but “the University never did anything about it.” There is no record of this student’s concern being investigated in a manner consistent with then-University policy. There are also no records or other evidence of Student 1 being provided with notice of her rights and options in response to the complaint, or perhaps more importantly, any supportive resources other than the support of Sharon Lewis and Coordinator of Football Operations and assistant to Head Coach Ya’el Lofton. Lofton and Lewis stated that after this incident, Student 1 “fell off the face of the Earth” and did not “know what happened to her after that.”

Yup, Brian, seems like a whole lot of nothing here. And I'm sure that, since he got away with that behavior with zero repercussions, he definitely wouldn't continue at Kansas.

Dale Rogers 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Those are LSU problems. Is Miles responsible for how LSU handled that? What Brian is saying is this was all dealt with long ago with no wrongdoing found by the investigation. Actually, the investigation did not say there was no wrongdoing, they said they found no evidence of wrongdoing. Unless something new comes up that changes that, it remains unproved allegations. Oh, by the way, I saw you kissing your neighbor's daughter. You should be fired from your job.

W Keith Swinehart II 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Allegations 8 years ago. Little else offered in support of allegations. How about his conduct at KU? Have any substantial conversations been held with Les Miles?

I wouldn't make any snap judgements without digging deeply. Lots of people can be hurt besides KU, Les Miles, his family, the team players, the recruits, the coaches, the staff members, the University.....and on and on.

Lots of precedent in other fields of false or exaggerated allegations. Its a minefield. Keep it cool. Don't speculate. Don't peddle rumors. Not joke material. I'm sure the powers that be in the University are active. Let them handle matters.

Cora Smith 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The out is if he did not report what happened to Jeff Long when he was hired. If he did report it, Long is where the buck stops. This looks like a whole lot of Mark Mangino with old allegations. I think there will be no fair way to resolve it and lots of people will get hurt.

Dale Rogers 1 month, 2 weeks ago

So, when you interview for a job you bring up things in your past that someone said you did but were never proved to be true? Really? I think not. Why would anyone even think to report something like that when it's not in any public record and no wrongdoing was ever proved? I guess you just forgot to tell your employer about that bike one of your classmates claimed you stole, just before it was found at the store where he forgot he left it.

Gary Wirsig 1 month, 2 weeks ago

You bring it up (1) as a point of integrity and (2) so that the media circus we're now in is avoided.

Brian Wilson 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Yeh, sure Gary, and if you have been doing this everytime you interview I have to ask the question....Do you work in fast food?

Brett McCabe 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Find out if Danny would take the AD job. If yes, fire them both tonight. Let Danny bring some class, some brains and some professionalism to the position we haven’t had in years.

He will be able to find a good football coach, he could raise money and we could have someone with the standing to look Dollar Bill straight in the eye and say clean it up or you are gone.

Kay Jensen 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Look at our recruiting, we’re finally starting to turn a freaking corner! It would be a disaster to let him go now.

Bryce Landon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

And the $#!+show that is KU football continues with no end in sight. KU is the Cleveland Browns of college football (the Browns' 11-5 record and playoff appearance last year notwithstanding). Look for me to keep on donning the black and gold of Iowa for years to come.

Dale Rogers 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for the laugh. That's a good one!

Gerry Butler 1 month, 2 weeks ago

OK there Sparky you go ahead and don away with your Iowa crap and oh ya by the way thanks for trolling the KU board - - always special to have people like you stopping by, such a pleasure -guess you probably got yourself kicked off Iowa boards huh roflmao - -it's ok we will take ANOTHER troll like you .

Just one more tiny thing , I'm am with the Make a Wish foundation and have a new wish - - I wish you would get the hell out of here take your BS somewhere else your always a bundle of sunshine - - now see? - -see how that works ? - ok now you taddle along I'm sure SOMEONE has to be missing you cause we sure the hell aren't. - - - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Andy Godwin 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Clearly there is much for the KU administration to digest. It should be pointed out that LSU did not fire Miles over the inappropriate and quite frankly predatory behavior when they launched their investigation in 2013. It took until 2016, after a national championship and a slow start to their season. Many are calling for KU to immediately fire their head coach for past discretions and with no evidence of wrongdoing while at KU. This report of past and terribly inappropriate behavior by their head football coach to “mentor” recruitment hostesses clearly doesn’t help KU’s image and Miles’ and Long’s efforts to rebuild a dilapidated program from the ground up with only high school players. But firing Miles immediately as a way for KU to address their “commitment to integrity” even though, at this moment in time, Miles has not been found guilty of any misdoings at KU, seems premature. I think before a knee jerk reaction to fire Miles over an investigation and report from 8 years ago, which remember did not lead to his dismissal at LSU, KU should carefully investigate what they truly knew before Long hired Miles and whether his past behavior towards coeds on his staff continued at KU. Clearly his behavior toward coeds was overlooked due to his prominent position at LSU. That was THEIR decision and what they must live with now and in the future. Forgiveness and second changes are way of life in the US, but if Miles has not “reformed” then KU will need to look past the football program and the much needed revenue and decide how the athletic department is run from Long on down (all while Bill Self and his basketball program remain under a black cloud of uncertainty).

Brett McCabe 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Miles will never coach another game at KU. That train has left the station. The bigger issue is the dereliction of duty by the AD who could not have done proper interviews with Miles and research behind the scenes. Because, if he did, Miles wouldn’t have gotten the job.

Brett McCabe 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The crap show known as KU Athletics requires a full reset. The Chancellor needs to do his job and do it right now.

Then call Danny and Jeff Monken immediately.

Dale Rogers 1 month, 2 weeks ago

How exactly do you arrive at the conclusion that Jeff Long should have known about this? USA Today is on record that they found absolutely nothing about this in police records and other public records. Nothing at all. They found out about this only after suing LSU for documents related to numerous sexual harrassment claims over several years involving several people at the institution. They found the documentation of the Les Miles situation as a result of that.

First, Les Miles was investigated by an independent agency hired by LSU and the conclusion was they found absolutely nothing to substantiate that he did anything wrong. That leads to the potential this was a "she said, he said" situation. Maybe he did, maybe she just wanted a $$ settlement from his deep pockets or LSU's. In any case, the incident investigation was closed. Unless he is shown to exhibit unacceptable behavior while employed by KU, this issue should be dropped.

Brett, do you have kids? Have you ever hired a babysitter? Have you ever driven to pick up the babysitter and bring her/him back to your place? Were you alone in the car with her during that time? I have. Many times. That babysitter could claim I came on to her, I kissed her, tried to fondle her, whatever, and it would be her word against mine. Who is the public likely to believe? The media could have a field day with their headlines and lurid suppositions. But, of course, I'm not a rich guy so a babysitter is not going to bother going after me knowing I don't have those deep pockets to settle out of court to avoid the publicity. Plus I never did anything like that other than transport babysitters between their place and mine. With us alone in the car.

This whole ancient history on the Les Miles thing is being blown way, way out of proportion. Look at today's behavior, not something long put to rest with no evidence of support of the accusation.

Matt Gauntt 1 month, 2 weeks ago

We're making a dent in the recruiting in Louisiana.....Hmmmmm, then this report comes out from LSU. It smells fishy.

Scott Burton 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Miles isn't going no where!!! Rock Chalk Jayhawks!!!!

Joe Ross 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I understand the defense of Miles when I look through the rose-colored glasses of Homer-ism. But everywhere else in the country, the optics of this looks terrible. Fair or unfair, the reality is that Les Miles is radioactive now. He's glowing like a flashing, green neon sign. Scandal hurts recruiting more than blondes with big boobs helps. No where is that reality more pressing than at down-trodden Kansas.

The coaching carousel will take another turn shortly...

Brian Wilson 1 month, 2 weeks ago

And yet KU is still signing recruits. So apparently he is not too radioactive.

Joe Ross 1 month, 1 week ago

Miles is fired. Long is fired over MIles.

It's like I said...

Mike Hart 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Brian Wilson: I think Brett McCabe is 100 percent right. If Long knew this before he hired Les, the Long is an imbecile for hiring them. If Long did not vet Miles prior to hiring him, then Long is an incompetent buffoon. All he had to do was ask LSU. You don’t want the face or your football program with this kind of baggage. These black eyes for this University need to stop. It’s not ok and it’s not acceptable. Be realistic, Miles and Long talked about this ... this isn’t news to Long. And I’d he didn’t then shame on Long AND shame on Miles for not revealing it. New coach and new AD please ... someone with some character please

Brian Wilson 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I don't think so. Miles wasn't fired by LSU for these accusations! The investigation found no supporting evidence. So....The settlement probably had a 'non-disclosure. and investigations are typically not revealed to protect potential damages to innocent people."

IMO....KU has to be careful, actions could be found libelous, or contrued as finding guilt, or defamatory. Jumping to conclusions is not a good idea.

Chris Bailey 1 month, 2 weeks ago

If we fire Miles I’m done with football. I’m done cheering for the team and as far as I’m concerned we can quit playing football. I’m so sick and tired of this crap year after year. This crap happened in the past. He did NOTHING at KU yet we do nothing but tear him down. It’s the cry baby cancel culture. How many guys haven’t wanted to sleep with a hotter, younger woman? If you say you haven’t you’re a liar. We’ve all had fantasies and if we had the opportunities I’m sure he had it would be tough to be perfect. Get over it. We’re human. These guys are athletes ans big time coaches and if we think this is gonna change it’s not. Women are not innocent in all of this and can simply say no. I’m sick of this crap. We allow people to do far worse and get away with it.

Scott Burton 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Maybe Miles had bad breath when he kissed all the girls. Paybacks are hell. Miles isn't going no where!!! Rock Chalk Jayhawks!!!

Randy Bombardier 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Ya know it could have been an attempt at humor that didn't work out so well. I don't see this going anywhere. Of course we live in an age where Mr. Potatohead is controversial.

Bee Bee 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Les wasn't charged much less CONVICTED. Mark Mangino offended snowflakes and lost his job. How did that work out for K U Football? This is the same B S. Move on.

Mike Hart 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Brian Wilson: What are you talking about with LSU’s investigation into Miles and these allegations? The study showed LSU Did not do a damn thing to investigate it. None of these accusers were ever even talked to by LSU. They 100 percent ignored it. They didn’t even investigate and report the rape allegations made against their star running back. Give me a break

Brian Wilson 1 month, 1 week ago

So you want to find Miles guilty because LSU didn't do their job. Or do you want to fire Miles because after Hubsch Blackwell stated they "did not determine that Miles had a sexual relationship with any of the women who made allegations." that still said LSU investigations reported Miles supposedly somehow force "Two kisses" on a student while driving his car, and that the accusation is so offensive Miles must be fired! even though Miles denies it. GIVE me a break!

Look, I am all for holding someone accountable for something they did. I am not all-in for punishing someone over unproven allegations. That is the kind of BS that needs to stop. Your complaint should be with LSU not doing the investigations, or the NCAA for not holding LSU accountable for not doing the investigations. My guess, it's 8 years later and your not going to be able to prove anything. So until you have something new on Coach Miles he should remain innocent until proven guilty and IMO maybe the NCAA should be putting LSU on probation.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.