Les Miles, former Louisiana State University (LSU) head football coach, was fired yesterday from his new job at the University of Kansas (KU). The university took action after reviewing the full report from LSU of his sexual misconduct. Miles was placed on administrative leave Friday pending review of a report detailing the allegations of misconduct.
KU issued a statement on Monday that Miles and the university had “mutually agreed to part ways effective immediately.” That’s code for he was fired.
As I reported on March 5th, Miles had been under investigation by LSU since 2013. He was fired just four games into their 2016 season after 11 years as head coach.
KU hired Miles for the 2019-2020 football season. Miles never divulged the nature or extent of his actions while at LSU. Or the fact that he had been reprimanded.
Les Miles also issued a statement on Monday. “This is certainly a difficult day for me and for my family. 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,” he said in part.
Coach Miles, age 67, continues to deny allegations he made sexual advances toward female students and staff. He claims he merely sought to be a mentor.
Entering his third season at KU, Miles was coming off a winless season, including a 13-game losing streak. He leaves the university as the highest paid public employee in Kansas. Offensive Coordinator Mike DeBord will serve as acting head coach until KU selects an interim head coach.
This underscores a larger issue for colleges and universities. Many institutions have come under fire for failing to report, or underreporting, sexual assaults on campus. Recruitment among colleges and universities would be compromised if the extent of the violence were accurately reported.
It begs the question of how Les Miles could have been hired by KU after he was investigated, and subsequently reprimanded, for sexual misconduct at LSU. Presumable KU contacted LSU for references. But certainly, Miles failed to divulge the extent and nature of the allegations against him.
The #MeToo movement has raised awareness and gained prominence in the last few years. It’s troubling the extent to which both LSU and Les Miles went to hide the allegations and investigation of his sexual misconduct.
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