Late last night, Kansas football made the decision that looked more and more inevitable with each passing day: it parted way with veteran head coach Les Miles. The former national champion is accused of sexual harassment stemming from his time at LSU.
Miles reportedly reached a settlement with a former LSU student in 2013, after allegations of harassment. In other instances, Miles “was accused of 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.”
Miles also allegedly pushed for LSU to “sexualize the staff of student workers in the football program,” asking for the program to hire “blondes with big breasts, and ‘pretty girls.”’ Amid a number of allegations from within the football program during Miles and Ed Orgeron’s tenures, LSU has retained an independent law firm to investigate the school’s handling of claims.That investigation has dredged up the previously unreported Les Miles allegations.
“I am extremely disappointed for our university, fans and everyone involved with our football program,” Kansas athletic director Jeff Long wrote in his statement about parting ways with Miles. “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. 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.”
The University of Kansas and Les Miles have mutually agreed to part ways effective immediately.
— Kansas Jayhawks (@KUAthletics) March 9, 2021
The statement is as vague as it gets, likely for legal reasons, but that hasn’t stopped it from being ridiculed by those online. Kansas didn’t come close to addressing the severity of the allegations against Miles, or its own failure to vet the head coach enough to discover these issues before making the hire.
If you want to know what a disgraceful clown show Kansas is right now, its statement on Les Miles makes no reference to allegations of inappropriate behavior toward young women but prominently mentions the need to win more football games.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) March 9, 2021
"Mutually agreed to part ways" likely means Kansas and Les Miles reached a financial agreement that will keep the dispute out of court, away from pretrial discovery & away from legal journalists who would be very interested in emails, texts & other materials that might surface. https://t.co/FNLnXzR5aT
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) March 9, 2021
Les Miles out at Kansas: https://t.co/1nLXdLFHgh
AD Jeff Long presiding over troubled football and basketball programs. Faculty senate debating whether to vote no confidence in chancellor and provost. Yikes!
— Kevin Draper (@kevinmdraper) March 9, 2021
Everything about the way Long has handled the Les Miles era has been shameful but waiting til 10pm on a Monday to announce this really is the perfect bookend. https://t.co/XaL0t45KuJ
— Blake Schuster (@Schustee) March 9, 2021
While on-field record is the far less significant concern here, Les Miles was just 3-18 as the head coach of the struggling Kansas football program, with a 1-16 Big 12 record. Jeff Long and his Jayhawks administration have plenty more to answer for here.