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LSU Report on Les Miles Leaves Widespread Wake

Paul Steinbach

The fallout from Louisiana State University's report on former football coach Les Miles' sexual misconduct was widespread, swift and a potential indication of what's yet to come.

LSU released the 2013 report by law firm Taylor Porter Friday. The University of Kansas, Miles' current employer, placed the coach on administrative leave later that day, prompting his attorney to claim KU was "bending the winds of media blowback," according to The Kansas City Star.

While at LSU, Miles was accused of kissing a female student in his car and suggesting they drive to a hotel or his condominium. The parties eventually reached a settlement regarding the incident.

Related: LSU Warned Miles About Harassment After 2013 Report

As reported by CBS Sports, a high-ranking Kansas official insists Miles was fully vetted prior to his hiring in 2018. "We did background checks. We did all of those kinds of things," said the source, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the proceedings and Kansas' ongoing investigation. "We talked to people about Les and what he was doing. No one gave any indication of this. No investigations, no reports, no nothing. Zero."

But attorney Peter Ginsberg, in a statement released Saturday afternoon, questioned KU’s motives while suggesting that KU athletic director Jeff Long and other university officials are misrepresenting their level of awareness of the accusations against Miles. “Before the release of the reports this week, Kansas had been provided with significant information supporting Taylor Porter’s conclusions. KU also had performed thorough due diligence before hiring Coach Miles,” Ginsberg said, as reported by the Star. “Kansas’ decision to put Les Miles on administrative leave is both disturbing and unfair.”

Meanwhile, Oregon State University president F. King Alexander, who served in that capacity at LSU from 2013 to 2019, is under fire over what he knew and when he knew it. The report accuses then incoming president Alexander of knowing about the alleged misconduct by Miles. OSU had yet to provide comment to KEZI 9 News, Eugene's ABC affiliate, regarding these claims as of this writing.

On Friday, LSU suspended executive deputy director of athletics Verge Ausberry and senior associate athletic director Miriam Segar without pay for 30 and 21 days without pay, respectively, for mishandling complaints made about student-athletes and in one case, a report by an athlete of his own actions, according to an NBC News report.

LSU did not go far enough, according to some students who expressed outrage Friday that the employees were not immediately fired. “There’s a myriad of people who need to be disciplined,” said Angelina Cantelli, co-founder of the student group Tigers Against Sexual Assault, according to Report Door. “You can’t recognize that you failed, and then keep everything the same and keep the status quo.”

Beyond personnel, LSU appears to have had a problem with process. A separate report by another LSU-retained firm, Husch Blackwell, "stressed that in many ways the employees tasked with these important responsibilities were not served well by the leadership (of LSU). Institutional policies were unclear, edicts were issued by supervisors that conflicted with policy, employees were overburdened with vast institutional roles and not provided with appropriate resources, calls for additional resources went unheeded, concerns were not responded to."

Student complaints were often kept within athletic department circles, according to NBC News. "You cannot allow athletics to basically decide what gets forwarded to the Title IX office; it needs to go directly to the Title IX office," Husch Blackwell attorney Schneider, who oversaw the investigation into LSU's handling of such complaints, told the network.

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