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Monday, March 8, 2021

Les Miles done as KU’s football coach

Kansas head coach Les Miles watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

Kansas head coach Les Miles watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

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After two losing seasons at the University of Kansas, it wasn’t the lack of victories that led to Les Miles’ demise, rather sexual harassment allegations from his past ultimately cost the Jayhawks’ head football coach his job, as KU announced late Monday night Miles’ time with the program was over.

KU described it as a “mutual” parting of ways, in a release, which comes on the heels of Miles’ alleged sexual harassment scandal when he was the coach at LSU finally reaching the light of day.

With Miles out of the picture, offensive coordinator Mike DeBord will remain the Jayhawks’ acting head coach until an interim head coach is determined.

“This is certainly a difficult day for me and for my family,” Miles stated in KU’s release. “I love this university and the young men in our football program. I have truly enjoyed being the head coach at KU and know that it is in a better place now than when I arrived. To our (players), I want you to remember that you came to play for KU and earn a degree here. So, I implore you to stay and build on what we started and do all of the things we talked about doing together. There is a bright future for all of you and for KU Football.”

Under scrutiny since reports surfaced in recent weeks of Miles’ covered up alleged misconduct when he was a national championship-winning coach at LSU, KU severed ties with Miles just three days after Athletic Director Jeff Long’s decision to place Miles on administrative leave.

Details of the agreement are to be released in the coming days, KU announced, while the athletic department makes a “national search” for a new head coach.

“I am extremely disappointed for our university, fans and everyone involved with our football program,” Long stated in a release. “There is a lot of young talent on this football team, and I have no doubt we will identify the right individual to lead this program. We will begin the search for a new head coach immediately with an outside firm to assist in this process. We need to win football games, and that is exactly what we’re going to do.”

In what proved to be Miles’ final season at KU, the Jayhawks went 0-9 during a pandemic shortened season, a year after going 3-9 in Miles’ first year in charge. Miles, who finished 114-34 in his 11-plus years at LSU and 28-21 as the head coach at Oklahoma State, ran out of time with the Jayhawks before he could turn the downtrodden program around.

More allegations that Miles “attempted to sexualize” football student employees when he was the head coach at LSU were made public this past Friday, when LSU published its Husch Blackwell report.

According to that report, after LSU lost the 2012 national title game, Miles allegedly “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 such remarks were corroborated by several witnesses during its review.

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

Miles denied any inappropriate behavior, according to the report. He also denied allegations that surfaced from a separate report in 2013 that were published for the first time this past week, which included an account of LSU reprimanding Miles after a female student employee in the athletic department alleged that Miles kissed her when the two were together in his vehicle and suggested they visit a hotel together.

Efforts by the Journal-World to reach Miles through his wife, Kathy, were not immediately successful following the announcement.

A source with knowledge of the situation told the Journal-World that many KU players were upset to learn of Miles’ departure during a meeting late Monday night.

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

Another part of the Husch Blackwell 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 KU football program in November of 2018, a little more than two years after LSU fired Miles four games into the 2016 season — for on-the-field results, not off-the-field misconduct. Miles signed a five-year contract with KU that could have potentially kept him with the program through the 2023 season.

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

His career, which appears to be over, finished with Miles’ coaching record at 145-73.

Comments

Armen Kurdian 1 month, 1 week ago

This program is just completely cursed. I don't know what to think, but I cannot see any scenario where the university at some level either didn't know or didn't do due diligence here. And to top that off, depending on the answer to that question giving Miles a chance to defend himself. And why were these allegations only now just published? FOIA? Why didn't it come out while he was at LSU? Does KU have cause to sue LSU for damages here? And what did Les Miles actually do, did he just make an off-color joke or was that a policy he was trying to push regarding 'big boobs'? Did he really kiss someone?

Honestly, this situation is so screwed up. The AD effed up the firing of Coach Beatty, you can't tell me that he isn't at least partially to blame for what happened here.

Eric Brunner 1 month ago

cursed implies a sense of helplessness, supernatural interference, back luck, and a lack of accountability for the people ultimately making decisions to put incompetent and amoral people in positions of power. Big dollar alumni, the board of regents, the current and former chancellors, and the current and former AD's all share responsibility for this string of disasters. We cannot let them rely on the excuse that they didn't see these scandals coming. They knew Perkins was shady, they knew Self was paying players, they knew Weis, Gill, and Beatty weren't cut out for the job, they knew Miles was a predator, and on and on and on

Dale Rogers 1 month, 1 week ago

Well, I don't see any negligence about due diligence since there was absolutely nothing available to anyone outside the few at LSU who know about the allegations. I am always concerned when someone ends up being judged guilty when there has been no evidence uncovered of such guilt. Nevertheless, Miles is gone from KU football. Setting aside the allegations for a moment, I'm sorry to see him go. He was rebuilding this team the right way. He had the name to help with recruiting. We're losing that. I can only hope the next HC has sufficient draw to keep our recruits and our current players, as well. This team is just a year or two from becoming respectable and now we need someone who will stay the course that Les Miles began at Kansas.

Daniel Kennamore 1 month, 1 week ago

"I am always concerned when someone ends up being judged guilty when there has been no evidence uncovered of such guilt."

There is an entire report that documents such evidence and includes a recommendation that he be fired at LSU. He should have never been hired by Kansas.

The question now is did Long know about it and hire him anyways...or did he completely whiff the vetting process. Either way Long will be the next out the door.

Kay Jensen 1 month, 1 week ago

I just can’t with this program anymore...

Doug Horn 1 month, 1 week ago

So it is time to circle the wagons and brace for impact! The NCAA basketball case hasn’t been settled and is likely not going to happen anytime soon. But KU needs to look at the person they have running the athletic department. Normally I would give someone a second chance, but in Long’s case this is strike three.

Strike One: Long was the one who agreed to declare Adidas as a booster in order to get the NCAA to hear the appeal of DeSousa’s 2 year suspension. This is one of the key parts of the five major violations that KU is going have to face.

Strike Two: Long completely mis-handled the Beaty firing. Why did we not just fire Beaty for lack of wins? Instead Long went to Beaty with three games left in the season and told him that he was not coming back the next season. And let Beaty finish out the season. Then he tried to not pay Beaty his $3 million severance by claiming that Beaty had violated NCAA rules. He should thought about what was going on with the NCAA at the time. Beaty files a lawsuit and KU ends up aettlong for $2.55 million, which doesn’t include the more than $500,000 in legal fees. The $500K didn’t include the lawyer fees incurred in the last month before the settlement with Beaty. So Long cost KU more than the $3 million severance that he was due. The NCAA and the rest of the world watched as Beaty’s attorney started dragging KU’s practices out into the light for everyone to see. The should have been enough to fire Long.

Strike Three: Long either knew or didn’t know about what happened at LSU. If he knew about this he should not have hired Miles! Mile’s attorney stated that KU knew about this this issue when they hired Miles. If Long didn’t know about this issue, he should have! It is his job to do his homework when hiring a head coach.

When is KU going to step up and do the right thing? I almost forgot that KU’s contract with Long gets extended by the number of years the NCAA hands down as part basketball violations. Fire him for failure to do his job before you end up paying him even more money in severance after the sanctions come down.

Mike Barnhart 1 month ago

You are just cherry-picking the negatives with Long, what about all of the positives? ...Well... I’m struggling to to come up with the positives. Little help??? Anyone??

Spencer Goff 1 month, 1 week ago

Miles and Long have been buddies for decades, I am expected to believe that a conversation about these accusations "never came up" between two friends?

Scott Burton 1 month, 1 week ago

I will always Love Kansas Football 🏈

Joey Meyer 1 month ago

Please for everything that is good in this program - hire a triple-option coach and do something different. Being the 9th/10th best offense and recruiting in the league won't get us wins. Think different and hire smart this time, please!

Jeff Coffman 1 month ago

Please no...we just got one of the best slot receivers in the country and you want to only run the ball...no thank you.

Joey Meyer 1 month ago

You'd rather us try the same offensive schemes that every other Big XII team does, except others have consistently better recruiting and history?

If we're going to get out of the new-low, we have to think about the issue differently. We've tried to match up with similar schemes as the rest of the conference but we won't match recruiting, coaching, or money as the top programs.

Going about it differently, slowing the game down, recruiting faster and smaller linemen, and throwing a completely new concept against the other defense may be the only way we get back to respectability. The academies do it year-in and year-out, and Georgia Tech (despite difficult recruiting thresholds) proved it was viable on a Power 5 level.

I'd love to see us back at bowl games every other year. Using a junk offense and being the best at that is a viable path to get us there.

Chris Bailey 1 month ago

I’m done with KU Football. We need to drop football and move to the Big East.

Chris Bailey 1 month ago

Eh. I'm gonna go with no. First off they're not even in this conference. I mean I have tons of respect for the Hayden Fry coaching tree but if I root for anyone it will be K-State. I was a fan before I went to KU.

Ashwin Rao 1 month ago

Let us not overanalyze what happened. Les is out... Now bring out the list of potential replacements!

Brett McCabe 1 month ago

Joey: Nail on the head. We must do something different.

Doug: If you AD can’t be trusted to do the one thing he was hired to do, then why should he have the job?

Bring in Danny! Get a moral compass back at KU Athletics. Get a man with the self confidence and alumni support to turn this thing around.

Side note: Is Brent Dearmon kicking himself this morning?

Doug Horn 1 month ago

Brett: I don't trust Long at all, I can't even think of one thing that he has handled since he has been here. If you are talking about Danny Manning I am all for it! He is family and he seems to have a moral compass that Long clearly doesn't have. But would Danny be willing to part ways with Self if it turns out he was involved in the Adidas mess?

Lance Hobson 1 month ago

This seems like a huge overreaction. He basically flirts with some college coeds 10 years ago and now he’s being fired here? Please tell me there is something more. The curse of the Mangino continues.

Brian Wilson 1 month ago

KU needs to step out of the box a bit. Maybe someone like Bob Stoops would take pity.

Austin Lopez 1 month ago

How about Reggie Mitchell as Head Coach?

Jeff Coffman 1 month ago

No head coaching or coordinator experience...didn't we just play that game with Beaty?

Matthew Pyle 1 month ago

How does Jeff Long get to hire another FB coach. Clean house and start over (again). I'm done.

Ed Noyes 1 month ago

Our culture is completely out of control. 10-yr old flirting allegations made by a 20-yr old. No one living & breathing in this universe can pass any stringent litmus test that might be used to avoid a similar situation. I feel badly for my alma mater, Les Miles, his family and, most of all, this very "lost" culture in which we live.

Chris Bailey 1 month ago

I agree Ed. We've all been inappropriate and flirted before. Flirting and actually doing something are two different things.

Eric Brunner 1 month ago

The rules are very different when: 1) the flirting takes place in the workplace; 2) the flirting involves someone in a position of power (coach, teacher, boss, etc.); 3) the flirting takes place in an institution with Title IX protections; 4) the flirting involves quid pro quo (i.e. have sex with me and I'll boost your career...which is exactly what Miles offered). This is why we have things laws for things like statutory rape. I encourage you to consult with an HR specialist or perhaps take some training on sexual harassment and positive workplace culture.

Robert Brock 1 month ago

KU football is an embarrassment. Fired Mangino for being too gruff and fires Les Miles over allegations made in Baton Rouge years ago.

Eric Brunner 1 month ago

Except that the allegations against Miles were found to be true and were not disclosed as a part of his hiring process at KU. You can bet the house this will be in civil court real soon and Miles will likely have to settle with the university for a pay back a fat chunk of change

Jason Musick 1 month ago

For thr next Head Coach. It would be best to hire an entire coaching staff. I think Iowa State did that with the Matt Campbell hire and they are now contenders in the Big 12. I think that Coastal Carolina Head Coach and his staff would be great. That's how they hired Glenn Mason.

Brian Wilson 1 month ago

KU is gutless on this one. This should have never happened to HCLM so far after the fact with no due process. But, at this point Long needs to be fired, and, whoever hires the AD needs to be fired!

Eric Brunner 1 month ago

He's welcome to challenge that in a civil court...which he wont. KU athletics has plenty of full time lawyers on hand. This was more than likely by the book and HCLM will probably end up owing KU $$$

Jonathan Allison 1 month ago

"HCLM will probably end up owing KU $$$"

doubtful. He'll likely walk away a nice buyout. More money than most of us will make in a couple decades.

His firing looks like a PR move to me. Not that he doesn't deserve it, but as far as being a "for cause" firing where he would not be owed a buyout... I don't see how you fire him "for cause" for something that was dealt with several years ago at a different institution.

And if LSU is responsible for a coverup or something... well, I don't know legally how Les Miles will be held accountable for the university acting stupidly.

Doug Cramer 1 month ago

For all the folks that celebrated Mangino’s termination in 2009, hope you’ve learned your lesson.

Len Fleske 1 month ago

Unfortunate situation for Coach Miles, his family and KU. It appears that the current and recent Athletic Directors and coaches have been not been the best hires for KU. I would hope that the search group and individuals who participated in the hiring of the recent ADs and Coaches would not be in any decision process going forward. The problems with Athletic Department are an embarrassment to the University, Alumni, Players, and Students and probably requires replacement of the current AD especially if he was aware of the previous allegations!

Eric Brunner 1 month ago

Your sympathy for the young women who were taken advantage of by a man in a position of power is astounding...but yeah...the rich white guy who'll get bought out of his contract is suuuuch a victim

Glen Miller 1 month ago

Let's see how many guys leave now....... Will there be enough left to play football? We shall see, no loyalty to the school anymore...... I hope they prove me wrong. Sad and unfortunate ending to another failed attempt at bringing excitement. How about we just hire the right guy to get the job done this time instead of hiring the right "name" or the predicted "next best thing". I'd like to not hang my head in shame when it's football season at some point. I'll ride with KU either way though RCJH!!!!

Austin Lopez 1 month ago

How does everyone feel on the HCLM firing. Do you all think he should of been able to stay or was firing him the right move?

Mike Barnhart 1 month ago

As easily as Miles accepted his fate, there MUST have been deception on his part!!

Jonathan Allison 1 month ago

not having read much about the LSU investigations and the settlements, etc, except for what has been published on this site it seemed inevitable once he had been placed on administrative leave that they were likely negotiating his departure from KU Athletics. In the current information age it seemed obvious to me that there was a lot of information reaching the public that I have not been informed of. Information which likely indicates that Les not only should be fired, but should have never been hired.

That said, it's hard to imagine 5 years ago that he would have been fired for this, as it seems like it would have been easier for the university to hide behind the fact that these allegations 1. were old news, 2. had been dealt with while he was coach at LSU, and 3. did not result in any criminal cases or convictions. Assuming that Les has behaved himself while the coach at KU (if he has...) then it is easy to imagine that this scandal never would have made it into the headline news or mainstream commentary and could easily be swept under the rug.

All of this is under the assumption that there is in fact actionable wrongdoing on his behalf. I don't know much about the truth and veracity of any of the allegations, but it certainly is being treated like there is a wealth of allegations and evidence that he has not only acted inappropriately, but has crossed the line.

I am neither judge nor jury and so I can choose either to trust the partiality of those who have seen the evidence or can choose to make no assumptions whatsoever and only believe that which has already been adjudicated.

Regardless, legally he should be afforded due process and in the court system must be assumed innocent until proven guilty. It is injustice for a person to suffer and be defamed by false accusations. If this is ever the case, then I hope that the accused is able to challenge and sue anyone who contributed to the unfair treatment.

Bob Zielinski 1 month ago

Find a new AD and while you are looking for Long's replacement pull up Art Briles number and see if he would come be our coach. This is a serious post and if you think Briles is too radioactive to hire you should look into the actual findings of the investigation into Baylor and his role.

Mike Hart 1 month ago

Right, because what you want is to hire a coach that Baylor fired after it was revealed university officials covered up alleged rapes and other sexual assaults involving student-athletes. Not one or two incidents, but an alleged 31 football players committed 52 “acts of rape.” Five gang rapes were alleged to have taken place between 2011 and 2014, according to the Texas Morning News. He wasn't paid all the money he was owed. The university settled with him. Why settle if you did nothing wrong and just to have your reputation ruined? Sure, that's the guy you want to go to bat with to set an example in 2021. No other college has TOUCHED him in 4 years. Why on EARTH would you want to hire a guy with such a stained (right or wrong) reputation? Answer: You can't. And besides.. he is 66 years old... a year older than Les when he took over.

Bob Zielinski 1 month ago

I actually can answer that. Baylor is not the only program with allegations and incidents of assault, rape or sexual abuse. Briles was cleared in the final report (I think right or wrong does matter). Ultimately though, I don't care how old Briles is....the guy will bring athletes in and win games and that is what all of this is about (posturing and moralizing aside).

Bryce Landon 1 month ago

There's no doubt about it - the Jayhawks are college football's lolcow. KU is to college football what the Cleveland Browns are to the NFL (the 2020 season notwithstanding) and what the New York Knicks are to the NBA. Every time they try to be taken seriously, all they do is set themselves up to be milked for laughs. Like the Browns, KU makes knee-jerk decisions when it comes to firing coaches. Like the Knicks, KU looks to make the flashy, sexy moves and get the big names that look good but ultimately don't mean a damn thing.

KU in 2009: "Turner Gill is a hot commodity! Let's get him and prove we're not racists like the bigwigs at Auburn!" KU in 2011: "Charlie Weis helped Matt Cassel and the Chiefs win the AFC West in 2010? Let's get him!" KU in 2018: "Les Miles won a national title with LSU in 2007? LSU did him dirty by firing him; let's get him!"

And while the Kansas Lolcows continue to chase big names to make headlines, the Iowa Hawkeyes continue to stay steady with a coach who has served them well since 1999. Iowa may not make a lot of headlines or have a sexy program, but Iowa doesn't need headlines or sexiness to rack up wins and bowl game appearances.

So while the football gods continue to $#!+ on KU from now until the end of time, I'll be enjoying another 9-win Hawkeye team playing post-Christmas football!

ON IOWA!

Jonathan Allison 1 month ago

I agree with the first half of your post. KU Football is a joke... it's embarrassing.

Chris Condren 1 month ago

This is a self inflicted public relations and financial disaster. Every administrator at the KUAD with any role in football should be fired tomorrow. This department has to be the worst run department in all of P5 athletics. It deserves all the scorn and insults that fans heap upon it. Screw them all. Give them no money. Boycott all athletic contests until thing change.

Tony Bandle 1 month ago

Random Thoughts:

1] A record of 3 - 18 wasn't enough of a reason to fire Les??!!

2] Twelve straight losing seasons!!?? You'd think we'd win some games just by accident!!!

3] Well the answer is find a brilliant young, innovative coach who happens to be a masochist!!

4] Hawkeye Football is about as exciting as watching paint dry. [I just included that for Bryce, just for laughs. :} ].

5] Some way, some where some how, KU must have built something on a Native American Burial Ground and we are now cursed forever!!!

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