The attorney for Kansas coach Les Miles signaled Saturday they are prepared to fight Kansas placing him on administrative leave after a pair of reports were released publicly detailing allegations of inappropriate behavior with female students and football staffers while he was the coach at LSU.
Peter Ginsberg, Miles’ New York-based attorney, blasted Kansas’ decision as “bending to the winds of media blowback” and maintained that the allegations against Miles are untrue. The report by Husch Blackwell, an outside law firm that reviewed LSU’s handling of sexual misconduct cases, found “significant alleged misconduct” by Miles to the point that former athletics director Joe Alleva recommended firing Miles in 2013.
That followed the public release Thursday of a 2013 investigation from the Taylor Porter law firm, which found several allegations of misconduct including texting female students from a secret phone, attempting to kiss one and allegedly suggesting to one that they go to a hotel together after saying he could help her career.
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Miles, according to the report, made it clear he wanted student workers in the football office “to have a certain ‘look’ (attractive, blond, fit).” The report also alleged that Miles wanted student employees who did not meet this criteria to be given fewer hours or terminated.
Miles denied wrongdoing but was given a letter of reprimand and directed not to be alone with any female student employees or else he would lose his job.
Kansas officials have said they were not aware of these allegations when they hired Miles in 2018.
Ginsberg’s statement Saturday characterized the Taylor Porter report as clearing Miles from “any conduct that constituted sexual harassment” and that the Husch Blackwell report “revealed no new evidence” and did not include interviews with Miles or other key witnesses.
“Before the release of the reports this week, Kansas had been provided with significant information supporting Taylor Porter’s conclusions,” Ginsberg said. “KU also had performed thorough due diligence before hiring Coach Miles. Kansas’ decision to put Les Miles on administrative leave is both disturbing and unfair. To fail to recognize that a person’s career should not be compromised by unsubstantiated allegations hardly is consistent with the example an institution of higher learning should champion.”
Miles would be owed a bit more than $8 million if Kansas were to fire him without cause. Part of Kansas’ review while Miles is on administrative leave could be to determine whether the contents of the report might constitute grounds to part ways with him for cause, thus avoiding a buyout.
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LSU hired Husch Blackwell to investigate its handling of sexual misconduct allegations after USA TODAY’s reporting last year found that school officials ignored complaints against abusers, denied victims’ requests for protections and left them vulnerable to further harm by known perpetrators.
In addition, LSU has withheld records in abuse cases, including from one woman who had to file a lawsuit last year to get an unredacted copy of her own police report.
The newspaper also sued for the release of the Taylor Porter report after LSU refused to provide it following a public records request.