Les Miles has been placed on administrative leave at Kansas, athletic director Jeff Long announced Friday night. Miles, who is 3-18 as head football coach of the Jayhawks, is being punished for incidents that occurred at LSU back in 2013 that have recently come to light after being essentially buried from public viewing.
Miles faces allegations that include “texting female students, taking them to his condo alone, making them feel uncomfortable and, on at least one occasion, kissing a student and suggesting they go to a hotel after telling her he could help her career,” according to a Husch Blackwell investigation into Title IX issues at LSU.
“Today, I placed head football coach Les Miles on administrative leave as we conduct a full review to determine the appropriate next steps,” said Long in a statement released by Kansas. “We are reviewing the Husch Blackwell report released today by LSU following yesterday’s release of the Taylor Porter report. The past two days have been the first time that we have had access to either report.
“Even though the allegations against him occurred at LSU, we take these matters very seriously at KU. Now that we have access to this information, we will take the coming days to fully review the material and to see if any additional information is available. I do not want to speculate on a timeline for our review because it is imperative we do our due diligence. We will be able to comment further once our review is complete.”
Miles previously reached a settlement with a former LSU athletic department student intern while he served as coach of the Tigers program, according to a February report in the Baton Rouge Advocate. Miles has denied any wrongdoing. His attorney, Peter Ginsberg, issued a statement on Saturday in the wake of Kansas placing Miles on administrative leave.
“The events of the past 24 hours are deeply disturbing. Eight years ago, LSU hired Taylor Porter, a pre-eminent 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.”
In the wake of the Husch Blackwell investigation into LSU’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations, it was discovered that former LSU athletic director Joe Alleva wanted to fire Miles with cause in June 2013 in an email to then-incoming university president F. King Alexander.
“I specifically told him not to text, call or be alone with any student workers and he obviously didn’t listen. I know there are many possible outcomes and much risk either way, but I believe it is in the best interest in the long run to make a break,” Alleva wrote. “The court of public opinion would favor us. The court room? On July 2nd, we will know more but the facts will remain the same.”
Alleva stepped down in 2019 after mounting public pressure for how he handled Miles’ firing in addition to dealing with NCAA issues surrounding men’s basketball coach Will Wade.
Miles, who was 114-34 in 12 seasons with LSU including a national championship victory in 2007, was hired by Kansas two years after being fired by the Tigers. Replacing former coach David Beaty, he inherited a program that had not had a winning season since 2008 nor won more than three games since 2009. Prior to his stint with LSU, Miles led the Oklahoma State program, guiding the Cowboys to a 28-21 record over four seasons.
An interim coach has not been formally named at Kansas, though offensive coordinator Mike DeBord will handle any such responsibilities, a program source tells CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.