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KU places football coach Les Miles on administrative leave after reports of alleged conduct at LSU

Posted at 7:43 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 21:37:03-05

KANSAS CITY MO. — The University of Kansas placed football head coach Les Miles on administrative leave Friday after allegations of inappropriate conduct toward female student employees surfaced from his tenure at LSU.

Jayhawks Athletic Director Jeff Long, who made a splash when he hired Miles, announced the decision in a statement.

Today, I placed head football coach Les Miles on administrative leave as we conduct a full review to determine the appropriate next steps," Long said. :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.
Jeff Long, University of Kansas athletic director

The 67-year-old Miles' conduct came under scrutiny after USA Today published details Thursday of an investigation into his conduct and a letter of reprimand he signed. Kansas has repeatedly claimed having no knowledge of the allegations or investigation.

During 12 season from 2005-16, Miles went 114-34 in 12 seasons with the Tigers, winning the BCS National Championship Game during the 2007 season and leading LSU to a runner-up finish during the 2011 season.

Former LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva recommended Miles be terminated in 2013 after he was accused of exhibiting poor judgment in his relationships with student employees connected to the football team, according to a 262-page Husch Blackwell report released Friday by LSU.

One female student said Miles kissed her twice and asked her to meet him at a hotel or his condo during a conversation.

Miles also allegedly engaged in inappropriate text and social media relationships and employed another female student employee of the athletics department as a babysitter, engaging in "uncomfortable" behavior at times, according to one of the reports from LSU.

During two seasons under Miles, KU has gone 3-18 overall and 1-16 in Big 12 play, including an 0-9 record last fall. He missed the Jayhawks' loss at West Virginia after testing positive for COVID-19 in October.

Miles signed a five-year contract with KU in November 2018, replacing David Beaty. His average 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.”

Kansas' offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, who was hired last month, will oversee the football program, according to ESPN.

Miles, a native of Ohio, played at the University of Michigan, where he later served as a graduate assistant and offensive line coach sandwiched around a five-year stint as an assistant at the University of Colorado.

He spent three seasons as Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator before joining the Dallas Cowboys under Chan Gailey as tight ends coach in the late 1990s.

Miles then returned to Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he led the Cowboys to a 28-21 record and three bowl appearances in four seasons from 2001-04.