Les Miles Leaves Kansas Days After Harassment Accusations at L.S.U. Became Public
The University of Kansas said Monday it had “agreed to part ways” with its football coach, Les Miles, after the release of a 2013 report that detailed accusations that Miles sexually harassed female college students while ‘he was at Louisiana State University.
Kansas had refrained from offering public support for Miles after the report emerged from litigation last Thursday. But the release on Friday of the findings of a new investigation, one that examined LSU’s broader culture around issues of sexual misconduct, put its future in Kansas in further doubt.
Kansas said on Friday evening that Miles had been put on administrative leave, and on Monday evening, the university announced that Miles’ tenure, which began with his hiring in November 2018, was over.
“I am extremely disappointed for our university, the fans and everyone involved in our football program,” athletic director Jeff Long said in a statement. “There are a lot of young talents on this football team, and I have no doubt that we will identify the right person to lead this program.”
In a statement released by the university, Miles said it was “definitely a difficult day for me and for my family.” He did not address his story at LSU
But Miles’ attorney denied the coach acted inappropriately and said he “learned an unfortunate lesson eight years ago: His naturally open and confident nature exposes him to false claims from people. having a different agenda from his “. After the announcement of Miles’ leave last week, attorney Peter Ginsberg complained that Kansas acted because of a “media backlash” and said the decision was “both disturbing and unfair ”.
Ginsberg also claimed that Kansas received “important information” before the 2013 report was released. When asked if he would share what Miles and others provided to Kansas, Ginsberg did not respond. .
During his two seasons at Kansas, Miles never approached the levels of success he had as a football coach at Oklahoma State University and LSU, where he won a national championship to finish the 2007 season. Miles went 3-18 in Kansas – having reached 142-55 in his first two head coaching positions.
Until recently, however, Miles’ job did not appear to be in imminent jeopardy. But while LSU was accused of mismanaging allegations of sexual misconduct, USA Today sued for a copy of a 2013 investigative report by a law firm with close ties to the university.
The report, released after two women who worked for the soccer program complained about Miles’ conduct, said the coach played a role in hiring decisions and “made it clear that he wanted these employees to have a certain “look” (attractive, blond, fit).
Investigators were skeptical of the complaints in one account. But the second woman who came forward with doubts told a deeply unsettling story about how Miles started sending his messages after she started working with the football program, and how the powerful coach had urged her out. deploy an alias and add their phone number to their personal cell phone.
She also said that she and Miles met off campus, that the coach suggested they retreat to a hotel or his condominium and that he kissed her twice. Other allegations in the report have been redacted.
Although LSU lawyers ruled in 2013 that Miles’ conduct did not justify his dismissal – and he had just received a contract extension with a raise to $ 4.3 million per year – others to l inside the university were deeply alarmed.
The new investigation which ended on Friday showed that Joe Alleva, who was LSU’s athletic director in 2013 and had previously warned his coach against one-on-one meetings with employed students, believed Miles should be ousted for just cause.
“I still believe people are innocent until proven guilty and in this case I think he is guilty of insubordination, inappropriate behavior, putting the university, the sports department and the football program in jeopardy. great danger, “Alleva wrote to other LSU officials in June 2013.” I think we have a reason. “
Alleva’s recommendation was not heeded. Instead, LSU chose to ban Miles from hiring track and field students for “personal work.” The university also said Miles was prohibited from having personal communications with a student employed in athletics and ordered him to pay for at least eight hours of training with a lawyer specializing in employment law.
At the same time, LSU has maneuvered to protect the allegations and sanctions from public view.
“There was no record on this matter at the university,” the investigation published by LSU into the 2013 investigation said Friday. “Instead, the report regarding the investigation was intentional stored offsite in LSU’s external attorney’s office and with Miles’ attorneys. “
Indeed, Kansas said it did not consider the report until it was released during litigation this month in Louisiana.
LSU sacked Miles in 2016, but his sacking was then tied to the Tigers leaving 2-2 that season. His tenure at Baton Rouge, which began in 2005, has been widely praised: in addition to winning the 2007 season title, he led LSU to another league game after the 2011 season. He regularly kept LSU competitive with the increasingly dynastic University of Alabama and was popular with many fans even after his dismissal.
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