In March of 2021, Kansas University placed Les Miles, its head football coach, on administrative leave. Two recent reports had surfaced detailing Miles's inappropriate behavior with female students during his tenure at Louisiana State University. These reports, the Husch Blackwell and Taylor Porter papers, relay information about years of problematic behavior.
Jeff Long, the athletic director at KU, implied that he did not have access to this information when he first hired Les Miles in 2018. Now that this information is coming out, the KU athletic department plans to conduct a full review of these allegations and Miles's past behavior at LSU. (In fact, a later article from KU sports confirms that KU and Les Miles will be ‘mutually' parting ways.)
However, the emergence of the Blackwell and Taylor Power reports has called into question many specific practices, both at KU and at LSU. For example, did Long conduct adequate vetting prior to hiring Miles? Did LSU know about Miles's alleged conduct while he coached students there? If so, what is the state of reporting practices at LSU, such that Miles's behavior went unacknowledged?
Athletic Program's Handling of Misconduct Allegations Called Into Question
According to one of the reports probing Miles's conduct, Miles made several inappropriate requests and comments regarding the female student workers who supported the football team at LSU while he was there. The Husch Blackwell report notes that Miles sexualized the student workers at times, even allegedly making requests about the specific physical characteristics of young female students he wanted to see supporting the team.
Perhaps because of these requests, the Taylor Porter report found that LSU's athletic director, at the time, had banned Miles from being alone with the student workers. While external counsel had apparently advised LSU to fire Miles as early as 2013, Miles merely received a letter of reprimand from the administration.
One potential reason for this lax treatment could lie in Miles's stellar coaching reputation. It may not help that Miles has denied all culpability. According to his lawyer, the so-called damning reports are ‘base and inaccurate,' ‘supported by no evidence,' and ‘warranting no discipline.'
Whatever the reason, it's clear that Miles did not receive any real repercussions for his sexual misconduct until 2021. LSU fired him for unrelated reasons in 2016, and KU hired him in 2018. The fact that neither athletic program realized, reported, or disciplined his actions calls into question each universities' motivations - and their reporting mechanisms.
Call an Experienced Sexual Misconduct Defense Attorney to Protect Your Reputation
As the Les Miles story makes clear, academic institutions and athletic programs can sometimes have motivations at play beyond upholding their own policies and procedures. If your job or reputation is at stake in a sexual misconduct adjudication process, you need to make sure that your school doesn't steamroll over your rights.
Regardless of your school's incentives to squelch allegations or pursue aims other than justice, you need to ensure that your reputation remains clear. That's where Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm will be able to help. He will aggressively fight for you and your future. Call us at 888-535-3686 today to learn more about next steps.
This is the first in a two-post series delving into the details of Les Miles's story. Check out the second part here.