The University of Kansas did what Louisiana State University didn't — separate itself from head football coach Les Miles over reports that he engaged in sexual misconduct with female students.
Miles, the Jayhawks' coach since 2018, was placed on administrative leave Friday after details of a 2013 LSU-commissioned investigation into the coach's actions in Baton Rouge went public.
On Monday, Kansas announced that the university and Miles had "mutually agreed to part ways effective immediately," according to a release posted at KUathletics.com. "Terms of the agreement will be released in the coming days. While a national search for a new head coach begins immediately, Mike DeBord will continue to serve as the acting head coach until an interim head coach is determined."
“I am extremely disappointed for our university, fans and everyone involved with our football program," Long stated as part of the announcement. "There is a lot of young talent on this football team, and I have no doubt we will identify the right individual to lead this program. We will begin the search for a new head coach immediately with an outside firm to assist in this process. We need to win football games, and that is exactly what we’re going to do.”
“This is certainly a difficult day for me and for my family," stated Miles. "I love this university and the young men in our football program. I have truly enjoyed being the head coach at KU and know that it is in a better place now than when I arrived. To our student-athletes, I want you to remember that you came to play for KU and earn a degree here. So, I implore you to stay and build on what we started and do all of the things we talked about doing together. There is a bright future for all of you and for KU Football.”
Miles remained at LSU for another three plus seasons after allegations first emerged, despite then athletic director Joe Alleva's desire to fire him for cause.
As reported by The Advocate of Baton Rouge last week, a month-long probe into LSU's handling of sexual misconduct cases and its Title IX policies revealed that Alleva expressed the desire to terminate Miles in an April 19, 2013, email to then LSU chancellor William Jenkins. "I think his continued employment needs to be seriously considered," Alleva wrote, according to the investigative report. "When reviewing the use of a secret personal phone, the text messages, the fact that I had already advised him against such behavior, the evening meeting off campus, etc. it gives me great concern for the future."
At that time, Miles, the LSU coach since 2005, had just been awarded a six-year contract by the university, despite having been directed by superiors to stop texting, calling and messaging student employees. LSU also ordered the coach to stop hiring female students to babysit his children and to stop being alone with them. He was also made to attend eight one-hour sessions that he had to pay for and attend with an attorney, The Advocate reported.
Alleva also sent an email to then LSU president F. King Alexander on June 21, 2013, in which he said he believed people are "innocent until proven guilty," but "in this case I believe [Miles] is guilty of insubordination, inappropriate behavior, putting the university, athletic dept and football program at great risk.
"I think we have cause. I specifically told him not to text, call or be alone with any student workers and he obviously didn't listen. I know there are many possible outcomes and much risk either way, but I believe it is in the best interest in the long run to make a break."
Miles had been accused of kissing a female student twice, "unwanted touching," telling her he was attracted to her and suggesting that they go to a hotel or to his condo together — accusations Miles denies. The Advocate reported. LSU athletics employees also told investigators that Miles insisted LSU hire “attractive, blonde, fit” female students to work in recruiting.
LSU fired Miles only after an unsatisfactory start to the 2016 season. The university fired Alleva in 2019.