Les Miles was put on administrative leave by Kansas on Friday night, hours after a study from LSU reported that school administrators there considered firing him in 2013 due to his conduct with female student staff.
“We take these matters very seriously at KU, even though the charges against him happened at LSU,” Kansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. “Now that we have access to this information, we will spend the next few days going through it thoroughly and seeing if there is any additional information available. I’m not going to speculate about a timetable for our study because it’s important that we do our homework.”
Miles is in his third season as Kansas coach and is coming off a winless season in 2020. Before being fired four games into the 2016 season, he was the coach at LSU for more than 11 years.
Miles, who is 67 years old, has denied making sexual advances against students, claiming that all he wanted to do was act as a mentor to students who showed an interest in pursuing sports careers.
Earlier in the day, LSU published a 148-page report by a law firm on the university’s handling of sexual assault allegations.
The report by the Husch Blackwell law firm details then-athletic director Joe Alleva’s 2013 suggestion to former LSU President F. King Alexander to fire Miles. The study paints a damning picture of LSU’s resources and attention paid to sexual assaults and violence against women across campus.
Verge Ausberry, LSU’s executive deputy athletic director, has been suspended for 30 days, while senior associate athletic director Miriam Segar has been suspended for 21 days. Both have been placed on paid leave and must complete sexual assault training.
After two female student employees in LSU’s football program accused Miles of improper conduct, the coach was prosecuted.
Although the Taylor Porter law firm found Miles had bad judgement in 2013, it found no evidence of law violations or that he had a sexual relationship with any of his students. Taylor Porter also came to the conclusion that it couldn’t confirm one student’s claim that Miles kissed her when they were alone in the coach’s car.
Miles should be shot for reason, according to Alleva. Miles was accused of “insubordination, unethical conduct, placing the university, athletic department (cq), and football team at great risk,” according to an email from Alleva dated June 2013.
The Taylor Porter analysis had been kept secret for nearly eight years until a redacted version was made public this week as a result of a lawsuit brought by USA Today.
Miles joined LSU in 2005 and led the Tigers to a national championship in 2007.
Miles allegedly “tried to sexualize the staff of student employees in the football program by, for example, allegedly demanding that he wanted blondes with large breasts and ‘pretty girls,’” according to the Husch Blackwell study, which revisits the Miles investigation.
Meanwhile, no current LSU workers whose behavior was questioned in the Husch Blackwell study have been dismissed.
During a meeting of the LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Interim President Tom Galligan said that he tried to be reasonable when issuing discipline. Galligan emphasized that the independent study found that LSU’s shortcomings in reacting to sexual assault allegations were primarily due to inconsistent procedures and a lack of support for “overburdened” workers charged with such matters.
Galligan believes that whichever way the university tries to punish staff involved in the controversy, “people will be unhappy.”
Galligan then read an excerpt from the study that stated that certain workers “weren’t well served by the university’s leadership.”
Although LSU does not have a monopoly on mishandling sexual assault cases, the Husch Blackwell review found that the university “has been very slow to implement policies, facilities, and resources that were really needed” to ensure compliance with federal Title IX laws. These laws cover a wide range of issues related to gender equality in education, as well as cases of sexual abuse or discrimination in educational settings.
When officials in charge of Title IX enforcement demanded more support, Schneider found that LSU leadership “responded in a lackluster fashion.”
He said that the university’s Title IX office was never adequately staffed. “We aren’t the first to notice this and bring it to the attention of the university’s leadership. It has been regularly presented to the university’s leadership, and it seems that little has been done to fix it until now.”
According to the report, allegations against LSU athletes were handled the same as allegations against non-athletes. Schneider, on the other hand, pointed out that at schools where sports are prized, star athletes have an intrinsic advantage over victims.
According to Schneider, victims are “understandably unable to engage in the Title IX process because they are afraid of group backlash.”
Galligan issued public apologies to victims and stated that he plans to implement all of the report’s 18 recommendations for improving how the university treats sexual assault cases across campus. These guidelines included anything from policy and procedure clarity to personnel reductions and departmental reorganizations.“
After a report by USA Today questioned LSU’s treatment of sexual harassment lawsuits involving former football players Derrius Guice and Drake Davis, the school hired Husch Blackwell in November and decided to pay up to $100,000 for an independent investigation of its handling of sexual misconduct allegations.
Guice used to play for current football coach Ed Orgeron, but Schneider warned against punishing coaches for systemic shortcomings in handling sexual assault allegations. Only Title IX officials with experience in such matters should manage such inquiries and subsequent discipline, according to Schneider, while coaches should concentrate on coaching.
Schneider said, “You don’t want the coaches involved.” “What we want is for sports to be completely removed from the situation and for the Title IX office to conduct its investigation.”
The meeting began with a statement from Caroline Schroeder, a former LSU student who told the university in 2016 that she had been sexually harassed by a fraternity member and has reported encountering official opposition as she attempted to pursue her accusation.
She said, “I’d like to express how little confidence I have in this board to do the right thing today or in the months ahead.” “I sincerely hope I’ve successfully offended at least a couple of you right now, because the trivial and brief feeling you’re experiencing right now pales in comparison to the constant and sometimes crippling anxiety that survivors at LSU experience on a daily basis as a direct result of your deliberate indifference to violence on this campus.”