LSU “took exactly the wrong approach” in Miles case, expert says

U.S.

KANSAS (NewsNation Now) — A day after the University of Kansas placed head football coach Les Miles on administrative leave, Peter Ginsberg, Miles’ attorney, is calling the action “disturbing and unfair.”

In a statement, Ginsberg said that LSU, Miles’ former school, had conducted an “extensive and thorough” investigation into the allegations eight years ago, conducted by the Taylor Porter law firm, and concluded that Miles did not engage in any sexual harassment conduct.

Ginsberg went on to say that the NCAA’s newest report conducted by Husch Blackwell has nothing to do with Miles and that the firm did not interview the Kansas head coach or any other witnesses and only second guessed the previous report.

He said that Kansas’ decision to place Miles on administrative leave is unfair and that the school had performed its due diligence before his hiring.

NewsNation spoke with Dr. Elizabeth Taylor, an assistant professor at Temple University specializing in diversity in sports, about the report and the next steps for the University of Kansas.

She said that LSU “took the exact wrong approach” with the way they handled the report.

“I would say they did exactly the opposite of what they should have done. And the reprimands that they presented to him were essentially a slap on the wrist,” said Taylor.

A 2013 report was released earlier Friday detailing several allegations against Miles during his time with the Tigers. Miles was investigated after two female student workers accused him of inappropriate behavior.

According to the report, Miles is accused of making multiple student employees “feel uncomfortable.” One victim accused Miles of “kissing her” and asking her to go to a hotel with him, promising he could help her career.

The exhaustive report released Friday by the Husch Blackwell law firm offers a scathing view of the resources and attention LSU has dedicated to such complaints and has resulted in the suspensions of two senior officials in the athletic department.

While that 2013 investigation by the Taylor Porter law firm found Miles showed poor judgment, it did not find violations of law or that he had a sexual relationship with any students. Taylor Porter also concluded it could not confirm one student’s allegation that Miles kissed her while they were in the coach’s car with no one else present.

LSU’s former athletic director Joe Alleva also recommended in 2013 that Miles be fired as Tigers football coach because of his behavior with female student workers.

Alleva emailed incoming LSU President F. King Alexander, saying “he is guilty of insubordination, inappropriate behavior, putting the university, athletic department and football program at great risk. I think we have cause. I specifically told him not to text, call, or be alone with any student workers and he obviously didn’t listen.”

Husch and Blackwell interviewed multiple people who said Miles sexualized the student staff of the football program. He demanded  “pretty girls” and “blondes with big boobs,” according to the report.

Full Statement from Peter Ginsberg

The events of the past twenty-four hours are deeply disturbing. Eight years ago,
LSU hired Taylor Porter, a preeminent law firm, to conduct an extensive and
thorough investigation of allegations lodged at Les Miles. Under the guidance of
one of the nation’s leaders in the area of gender discrimination and harassment,
Taylor Porter concluded that Coach Miles did not engage in any conduct that
constituted sexual harassment and that there were no grounds to discipline Coach
Miles.

Now, eight years later, LSU, in the wake of enormous pressure from the NCAA for
conduct that has nothing to do with Coach Miles, issued a report conducted by
Husch Blackwell. The report revealed no new evidence. Indeed, Husch Blackwell
did not even bother to interview Coach Miles or many other key witnesses but,
instead, second-guessed the Taylor Porter findings and conclusions without
providing any basis for doing so.

Bending to the winds of media blowback, Kansas has now decided to put Coach
Miles on administrative leave. Before the release of the reports this week, Kansas
had been provided with significant information supporting Taylor Porter’s
conclusions. 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.

PETER GINSBERG – MICHELMAN & ROBINSON, LLP ATTORNEYS AT LAW

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