At the height of his fame as the head football coach at Louisiana State University, Les Miles was accused of texting female students, taking them to his condo alone, making them uncomfortable, and on at least one occasion, kissing a student and suggesting they go to a hotel after telling her he could help her in her career, according to an internal investigative report released by LSU on Thursday.
The investigation, conducted by the Taylor Porter Law Firm on behalf of LSU in 2013, found that thousands had no sexual relations with any of the women. but found his behavior inappropriate. Miles adamantly denied kissing the girl, according to the report. she said that she did nothing wrong and that she was just mentoring young women at the university.
miles was also accused by athletic department staff of saying that the hard-working students who helped the football team attract the best recruits had to be attractive, blonde and fit, according to the investigative report. Existing student employees who did not meet this criteria should receive fewer hours or be laid off, the report details.
Miles’ attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said the coach continues to deny the allegations, and hopes the release of the report puts an end to the “baseless, inaccurate media reports.”
“as the report concludes, the accusation that coach miles attempted to kiss the woman was not supported by any evidence and did not warrant disciplinary action: `we do not believe that, under existing law and the terms of the contract, there is cause to discipline and/or terminate coach miles,” Ginsberg’s statement read.
lsu investigation:independent investigation finds lsu routinely mishandled allegations of sexual misconduct
tried to fire thousands:lsu’s athletic director wanted to fire thousands in 2013 for misconduct. the school did not act.
But that misrepresents the report’s findings, which say “we can’t determine what happened” in Miles’s car, where the woman said Miles had kissed her twice. Additionally, as a result of the investigation’s findings, LSU sent Miles a letter of reprimand and required him to sign forms stating that he had read and understood the school’s policies.
The university also ordered him to stop hiring student employees to babysit, stop being alone with them, and attend eight one-hour sessions with an attorney at his own expense.
If Miles repeated his behavior, the school said in the letter, he would lose his job and violate his contract.
read the full report:accusations by the thousands
The allegations against Miles, now the head coach at the University of Kansas, first became public after USA Today filed a lawsuit over the records in January. ISU initially refused to release the records, and Miles intervened in the US lawsuit. uu. today, stating that his reputation would be ruined if the report became public. Miles abandoned his attempt to keep the records sealed, and his attorney said his publication was necessary to defend himself from negative media attention.
in 2013, miles and lsu took steps to ensure the records were kept secret, according to a letter published with the investigative report. In it, lsu’s attorneys tell thousands that if anyone requests it, the school will fight the release in court.
internal investigation of thousands is the latest discovery of us. uu. today, which has revealed widespread mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations by the lsu athletic department and the administration in general. The USA Today report prompted LSU to retain outside law firm Husch Blackwell in November to audit its handling of dozens of sexual misconduct cases since 2016.
read the us investigation. today:lsu mishandled allegations of sexual misconduct against students, including high-level athletes
The Husch Blackwell report, to be released Friday, is expected to reveal even more about the conduct of thousands during their time at LSU, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the investigation.
“We are delighted that this important document has been released,” said usa today attorney scott sternberg, referring to the 2013 report. accusations against louisiana’s most famous name and highest-paid state employee.”
The student who told investigators Miles had kissed her said Miles became interested in her career. he suggested that he could help her and asked her to put her number on her phone under her alias and said he would do the same.
They texted each other and made a date to meet up again. at some point, the two met off campus and she got in her car and drove. During the trip, the student told investigators, thousands suggested “that they go to a hotel together and mentioned her condo as another meeting place. he also complimented her on her looks and said that he was attracted to her.”
Investigators wrote they were not able to determine what happened between Miles and the student in the car. Miles denied kissing her. But even if they were to accept Miles’ version of events, investigators wrote, “it appears that he has shown poor judgment.”
‘one of the most successful coaches’
miles served as lsu’s head football coach from 2005 to 2016. he led the tigers to the national championship twice, winning it in 2007. in 2011, several organizations, including the associated press, named him national coach of the year . .
In January 2013, LSU gave him a two-year contract extension that increased his salary to $4.3 million per year, making him the fourth highest-paid college football coach in the country at the time.
“les miles is one of the most successful coaches in the united states and has the lsu program in a position to compete for championships every year in the most dominant soccer conference in the country,” said the athletic director of the lsu, joe alleva, at that time. a declaration. “He recruits at an elite level, his players graduate, and he is a respected member of the community. We are proud that he will lead the LSU soccer program well into the long-term future.”
The student worker who said Miles kissed her filed a complaint with athletic department officials a month later.
The school shot miles in 2016, after LSU started 2-2. Miles’ attorneys said in court papers that his firing had “nothing to do” with the allegations in the report.
the university of kansas, the state’s flagship public university, signed miles in november 2018. he was paid $3.3 million in 2020, making him the highest-paid public employee in the state, according to wall street 24/7 .
kansas spokesman dan beckler told us. today last week that the school was unaware of the allegations when thousands were hired. On Thursday, Beckler said the school was reviewing the newly released report and awaiting the results of the Husch Blackwell investigation.
“Due to ongoing litigation, Ku was not provided a copy of Taylor Porter’s report prior to its publication in the USA Today article,” Beckler told USA Today. “We are in the process of revising the 34-page document. . We are also aware that LSU will issue an additional report tomorrow, and we will wait to comment further until we have reviewed both documents.”
According to the investigation report, which replaces references to Miles’ name with “XXX,” Miles became more “hands on” about matters in the athletic department after leading LSU to the national title, “including the student employees.” The report says that Miles was involved in both recruiting and interviewing female student employees in 2012, and made it known they should have a certain “look. (attractive, blond, fit.)”
“He also made his supervisors feel that employed students who did not meet this criteria should receive fewer hours or be fired.”
But the interest of miles in some employees extended beyond their hiring, according to the women interviewed by the researchers. student workers who reported miles said he offered to help them get jobs in the industry, telling one that she could work for him “in his personal business” after graduation.
a worker, referred to as student no. 2, along with her father, reported Miles to the student’s supervisor, LSU’s director of football hiring Sharon Lewis in February 2013. Miles had begun sending her Facebook messages, the woman told investigators.
The student and Miles exchanged phone numbers and met later, driving in Miles’s car as he complimented her looks, suggested going to a hotel and then kissing her twice, the student said.
miles told the investigator that the purpose of this meeting was to “talk to her more about her career aspirations and tell her about a sports agent she had seen on a recent trip.” he admitted to driving her alone in her car but denied kissing her.
Although the investigator was unable to determine what happened, she criticized the behavior of thousands.
“However, there is no doubt that the conduct, if true, is inappropriate and unacceptable,” the report says. “even accepting xxx’s version of events, it appears that he has displayed poor judgment in placing himself (and the student employee) in a situation where the student employee might feel uncomfortable and/or may be subject to such a complaint ”.
before student no. 2, another student worker, named student no. 1, she reported in the summer of 2012 that she had a phone call and other interactions with Miles that made her uncomfortable. The student said she was concerned when Miles asked her to babysit her children, but then she changed her plans and asked her to go see a movie with them.
This student had also stayed at Miles’s condo one night, at the suggestion of Miles’s wife, the report says.
the report also says that the student does not. 1 I told the student no. 2 that thousands of her had “cornered” and touched her, but she denied this during her interview with the investigator. student no. 2 claimed that thousands had subjected her to “unwanted touching.”
as a result of the student no. 1, alleva met with thousands and prohibited him from having meetings or one-on-one interactions with student employees, and from texting or calling them. the athletic department also held several sexual harassment trainings and told thousands that student employees couldn’t take care of him.
The report says that Miles also texted at least one other former student employee using a personal phone that ISU had no knowledge of and no way to monitor. the student said that she was not uncomfortable with it, although she found it unusual. the investigator found “troubling,” she wrote, that other department employees addressed the situation by telling the student to ignore the texts; employees “implied that others had similar experiences,” the report says.
The researcher wrote that she interviewed other students and supervisors, but not all the students who worked with student no. 2, so as not to jeopardize her confidentiality and because she “had no indication that any other student employee had had a similar experience.” LSU also had no other similar complaints against Miles, the investigator said.
Still, the researchers said corrective action must be taken to address the “problematic behaviors” of miles. This included a written directive prohibiting her from having one-on-one contact with student employees and requiring her to use her LSU-provided cell phone to communicate with employees. It also recommended that Miles attend therapy “to help him understand how to set appropriate boundaries with students and student employees.”
lsu ordered thousands to turn over a list of all the phone numbers he owned.
Lawyers for thousands were “very reluctant” to have documentation of the investigation or its findings.
“however, because previous attempts to make xxx aware of the consequences of his behavior have been unsuccessful, we recommend that there be a written directive,” the researcher wrote.