KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Kansas has parted ways with head football coach Les Miles.
The decision came one week after USA Today uncovered an investigation into Miles' alleged inappropriate conduct during his tenure at Louisiana State University.
KU Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a statement issued Monday night that he is "extremely disappointed for the university, fans and "everyone involved with our football program."
“There is a lot of young talent on this football team, and I have no doubt we will identify the right individual to lead this program," Long said. We will begin the search for a new head coach immediately with an outside firm to assist in this process. We need to win football games, and that is exactly what we’re going to do.”
A female student employee in the Tigers' athletic department alleged Miles, 67, kissed her and tried to coerce her into meeting him at a hotel or his condo. Another student also alleged that Miles made her "uncomfortable" with texts and other behavior.
He denied the allegations, but agreed to stop texting student employees and using some as babysitters in signing a letter of reprimand in September 2013.
Miles said in the statement KU Athletics issued Tuesday night that it is "certainly a difficult day" for himself and his family.
“I love this university and the young men in our football program," Miles said. "I have truly enjoyed being the head coach at KU and know that it is in a better place now than when I arrived. To our student-athletes, I want you to remember that you came to play for KU and earn a degree here. So, I implore you to stay and build on what we started and do all of the things we talked about doing together. There is a bright future for all of you and for KU Football.”
KU claimed having no knowledge of the allegations or investigation prior to hiring Miles in November 2018.
He signed a five-year contract through the 2023 season at the time.
Jayhawks Athletic Director Jeff Long placed Miles on administrative leave Friday night.
Miles replaced David Beaty after the 2018 season. His deal with KU provides an annual salary is $2.775 million, but Miles also received a $225,000 retention bonus in November 2020.
The contract also includes language that allows the university to terminate Miles for “just cause.”
“Discreditable conduct that is inconsistent with the professional standards expected of a head coach of a collegiate sports team or that is seriously prejudicial to the best interests of KU or Athletics” is listed among several definitions in the “just cause” clause.
The contract language also indicates Miles can be fired for “any act, situation, or occurrence, or any conduct, which in Athletics of KU’s judgment brings Head Coach and/or KU into public disrepute, embarrassment, contempt, or ridicule.”
The Jayhawks are 3-18 overall under Miles, including a 1-16 record in Big 12 play, after going 0-9 and 0-8 in conference last fall.
He reached the BCS National Championship Game twice, winning it during the 2007 season, from 2005-2016 at LSU. He was fired four games into the 2016 season after going 114-34 overall with the Tigers.
Before that, Miles went 28-21 from 2001-04 at Oklahoma State.