A 2013 internal investigation at LSU accused former coach Les Miles of inappropriate behavior toward female students, but did not find that Miles had sexual relationships with any of the women, according to an investigative report released by the university Thursday.
According to the investigative report, first reported on by USA Today and obtained by ESPN, Miles was accused of contacting female students via Facebook and text, meeting them off campus alone and kissing at least one of them.
According to the report, Miles strongly denied kissing the student and said he didn’t do anything wrong, that he was mentoring young women at the university. Athletic department staff accused Miles of saying that female student employees who helped lure top recruits to the football team “needed to have a certain look,” further implying that meant attractive, blond and fit, according to the report, and if existing student employees didn’t fit that description, they should be given fewer hours or fired.
In a statement provided to ESPN, Miles’ attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said the release of the investigation, which was done by law firm Taylor Porter on behalf of LSU, “should put an end to the baseless, inaccurate media reports that Coach Les Miles engaged in an inappropriate touching of an Athletic Department student volunteer eight years ago.”
“As the Report concludes, the allegation that coach Miles attempted to kiss the woman was supported by no evidence and warranted no discipline: ‘We do not believe under existing law and the terms of the contract there is cause to discipline and/or terminate’ Coach Miles. Coach Miles denied then, as he denies now, that any such conduct occurred.”
Miles’ attorney said a second woman made a similar allegation that was not supported in the findings.
According to the investigative report, that woman’s “demeanor and inconsistent, vague statements are such that she does not appear to be a reliable source of information.” The woman claimed, according to the report, that she was “subjected to an unwanted touching.”
The Taylor Porter investigation determined “we are unable to determine what occurred” in Miles’ car, where the first woman said Miles had kissed her twice.
In spite of no verdict about what actually occurred in the car, the report stated “there can be little doubt that the conduct, if true, is inappropriate and unacceptable,” and that even with accepting Miles’ version of what happened, “it appears that he has shown poor judgement in placing himself (and the student employee) in a situation in which the student employee might be uncomfortable and/or he can be subject to such complaint.”
As a result of the investigation, LSU issued Miles a letter of reprimand, and he was ordered to stop hiring student employees to babysit and was not allowed to be alone with them.
The report ultimately determined that “LSU was unable to substantiate any legal violation,” according to a letter from the Taylor Porter law firm to Ginsberg, but “LSU has concluded that Miles engaged in behavior which showed poor judgment.”
Miles, who is now head coach at Kansas, also had to attend eight, one-hour sessions with an attorney and pay for them himself.
A Kansas athletics spokesman told the Lawrence Journal-World that the university was in the process of reviewing the investigative report.
“We are also aware that LSU is issuing an additional report tomorrow (Friday), and we will wait to comment further until we have reviewed both documents,” the spokesman told the Journal-World.
USA Today has reported widespread mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations by LSU’s athletic department and administration. As a result, LSU hired law firm Husch Blackwell in November to audit its handling of dozens of sexual misconduct cases since 2016.
The results of that investigation will be released on Friday.