Les Miles' lawyer blasts KU for placing coach on administrative leave, claims school knew about allegations beforehand

Kansas head coach Les Miles on the sidelines early in the game as the Kansas Jayhawks play the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. TCU won 51-14.  (David Kent/Star-Telegram via AP)

Kansas head coach Les Miles on the sidelines early in the game as the Kansas Jayhawks play the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. TCU won 51-14. (David Kent/Star-Telegram via AP)

Saturday, March 6, 2021

A day after the University of Kansas placed head football coach Les Miles on administrative leave amid sexual harassment allegations, Miles’ lawyer blasted the measure and accused the school of “bending to the winds of media blowback.”

In a statement released Saturday to multiple news outlets across the U.S., attorney Peter Ginsberg also disputed KU's claim that it had no knowledge of LSU's 2013 internal investigation of Miles until the documents were released this past week. The 2013 report, from law firm Taylor Porter, included allegations that Miles kissed a female student employee while he was LSU’s head coach, and a separate Title IX review that LSU released Friday alleged that Miles "attempted to sexualize" the student staff of the school's football program.

In his statement, Ginsberg claimed that KU had been provided “with significant information” regarding the 2013 investigation before the reports were made public, and that the school had “performed thorough due diligence” before hiring Miles in November 2018. KU Athletic Director Jeff Long had previously said that KU didn’t have access to either report until they were released this past week.

Ginsberg also characterized KU’s response to the reports as “deeply disturbing.”

"To fail to recognize that a person’s career should not be compromised by unsubstantiated allegations hardly is consistent with the example an institution of higher learning should champion," Ginsberg said.

The extensive Title IX review that LSU released on Friday said that after LSU lost the 2012 national title game, Miles made several statements about what type of student staff the football program should hire: Witnesses alleged that Miles said he wanted “blondes with the big boobs” and “pretty girls.”

Law firm Husch Blackwell, which produced the Title IX report, said it 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.

Miles denied any inappropriate behavior, according to the report, and the coach also denied kissing the woman who made the allegation in the 2013 investigation.

Ginsberg said Husch Blackwell “did not even bother to interview Coach Miles or many other key witnesses but, instead, second-guessed the (2013) findings and conclusions without providing any basis for doing so.” 

It's not clear how long KU's review of Miles will last. Long did not provide a timeline on Friday.