An internal investigation into LSU‘s handling of sexual harassment has drudged up a previously unknown issue stemming from the football program. According to a report by The Advocate, Les Miles reached a settlement with a former Tigers student intern, who accused the then-head football coach of harassment.
The article doesn’t reveal the exact time that the settlement was reached, though it was reportedly around the time that LSU extended Miles with a seven-year contract worth $4.3 million per season, which came on Jan. 1, 2013. He was eventually fired midway through the 2016 season.
“Former LSU head football coach Les Miles reached a settlement with a former student who accused him of harassment several years ago, and the settlement has surfaced as investigators probe the university’s handling of sexual misconduct and domestic violence complaints,” the report by Andrea Gallo and Brooks Kubena reads, citing multiple sources.
“The episode goes back about a decade, when a former LSU Athletic Department student intern accused Miles of “hitting on her,” three of the sources said.”
NEWS: Sources confirm to @BKubena and me that Les Miles offered a secret settlement an LSU student intern who he was accused of "hitting on" about a decade ago. All being probed as part of the Husch Blackwell report. Miles denies wrongdoinghttps://t.co/IgiA6KA2xl
— Andrea Gallo (@aegallo) February 24, 2021
The alleged settlement has come to light amid the school’s internal investigation, led by law firm Husch Blackwell, which is investigating the university’s handling of sexual misconduct. The program has been in the spotlight since the summer, when a pair of former LSU students accused former Tigers running back Derrius Guice of rape.
“As part of the Husch Blackwell review and our internal investigations, we have heard about a settlement but LSU is not a party to it and we have not seen it,” Jim Sabourin, the university’s vice president of strategic communications, told The Advocate. Les Miles has also denied the accusations of harassment, but “did not directly address questions about the settlement.”
Peter Ginsberg, Miles’ long time attorney, called a description of the settlement “discernibly incomplete and inaccurate, and its publication would recklessly cast Mr. Miles in a false light,” but did not outwardly deny the existence of the settlement, according to the report.
Miles has been the head coach of the Kansas football program since Nov. 2018. He has a 3-18 record, and was winless during the 2020 season.