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 to Miles after the report was released following litigation last Thursday. But the release on Friday of the findings of a new investigation, which examined LSU’s broader culture of sexual misconduct, put its future in Kansas even more in 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, had ended.
“I am extremely disappointed for our university, our supporters and everyone involved in our football program,” Sporting Director Jeff Long said in a statement. “There are a lot of young talents on this football team, and I have no doubts 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 program from his. After the announcement of Miles’ leave last week, attorney Peter Ginsberg complained that Kansas acted because of the “media return” 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 reached 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 posted a 3-18 record at Kansas – having scored 142-55 in his first two head coaching jobs.
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 took legal action to obtain a copy of a 2013 investigative report by a law firm closely linked to the university.
The report, launched after two women who worked for the football program complained about Miles’ conduct, said the coach had a role in hiring decisions and he had “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 disturbing story of how Miles started texting her after she started working with the soccer program, and how the powerful coach had pressed her. to deploy a pseudonym and add their phone number to theirs. 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 attorneys ruled in 2013 that Miles’ conduct did not justify his dismissal – and he had just received a contract extension with a raise of $ 4.3 million per year – others inside of the university were deeply alarmed.
The new investigation which ended on Friday showed that Joe Alleva, who was LSU’s sporting director in 2013 and had previously warned his coach against a one-on-one meeting with students, believed Miles should be ousted for just cause. .
“I still believe people are innocent until proven guilty and in that case I believe he is guilty of insubordination, inappropriate behavior, endangering the university, the sports department and the football program, “Alleva wrote to other LSU officials in June 2013.” I think we have a cause. “
Alleva’s recommendation was not taken into account. Instead, LSU chose to only ban Miles from hiring track and field students for “personal work.” The university also said Miles was not allowed to have personal communications with a student employed in track and field, and ordered him to pay for at least eight hours of training with a labor attorney.
At the same time, LSU maneuvered to protect the allegations and punishments from public view.
“There was no record on this at the university,” said the investigation LSU released on Friday about the 2013 investigation. “Instead, the report regarding the investigation was intentionally stored offsite in LSU’s external attorney’s office and with Miles’ attorneys. ”
Indeed, Kansas said it did not review the report before it was released during litigation this month in Louisiana.
LSU sacked Miles in 2016, but his dismissal was then tied to the Tigers leaving 2-2 that season. His tenure at Baton Rouge, which began in 2005, had 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.