LSU Settles Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit Involving Former Athletes

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Louisiana State University has settled a lawsuit brought by 10 former students who sued the school over alleged mishandling of sexual assault and domestic violence complaints against football players and others.

“The Court has been advised that the parties in this matter have settled all of their claims and have agreed to amicably resolve this dispute,” US District Judge Wendy Vitter wrote in a March 28 order dismissing the case, as reported today by The Associated Press.

Settlement terms have not been disclosed.

According to the AP, four of the the plaintiffs in the 2021 civil case accused former star running back Derrius Guice of sexual misconduct. Another plaintiff, former LSU women’s tennis player Jade Lewis, said LSU failed to properly respond to reports that she was being beaten by former Tigers receiver Drake Davis while the two were in a relationship.

The lawsuit centered on federal Title IX laws which ban gender-based discrimination, harassment or violence.

The allegations have had lasting impact on key figures involved, even beyond their time at LSU. Former head football coach Les Miles, who won a national title during his 12 seasons at LSU, lost his job at Kansas in 2021, around the time Oregon fired former LSU president F. King Alexander.

LSU hired the Husch Blackwell law firm to review the university’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints. The firm’s 148-page findings, widely circulated in 2021, addressed problems campus-wide, but the higher-profile complaints involved football players, the AP reported.

Husch Blackwell concluded that LSU had come up short in committing resources to Title IX compliance and instead tended to offer more resistance than help to alleged victims.

Related: LSU Has Done Nothing on Sexual Misconduct Failures

Some of the accused players were punished and ultimately left LSU, but others, including Guice, left the school in good standing and were selected in the NFL draft. Guice was cut from an NFL roster in 2020 following a domestic violence arrest.

The Husch Blackwell review aimed criticism more at LSU administrators, noting that coaches — such as Miles and his successor Ed Orgeron — generally lack the expertise to handle sexual misconduct complaints and should refer them to Title IX compliance officials.

According to the AP, the most severe punishment handed down to current LSU employees were suspensions of about a month to deputy athletic director Verge Ausberry and senior associate athletic director Miriam Segar. They were found to have mishandled multiple sexual misconduct complaints.

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