Les Miles emerged as Kansas football head coach four days after a report was released accusing him of inappropriate behavior toward female students while coaching at LSU.
Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long said Friday that the university would conduct a full review to determine the appropriate steps for Miles’ future and announced Monday night that they had “agreed to separate” from the coach.
“I am extremely disappointed in our university, the fans and everyone involved with our soccer program,” Long said in a statement. “There is a lot of young talent on this soccer team and I have no doubt that we will identify the right person to lead this program.”
Long said the school will use a search company to help find Miles’s successor. He didn’t use a search company when he hired Miles, a friend from their time together in Michigan in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Mike DeBord, who was hired last month as Kansas’ offensive coordinator, will serve as the program’s interim head coach until an interim head coach is determined.
Last Thursday, a report released on behalf of LSU showed that a 2013 internal investigation at the school accused Miles of inappropriate behavior toward female students, including allegations that he communicated with some via Facebook and text messages, met with them alone off campus and kissed at least one of the students. they.
The report did not find that he had sex with any of the women, and Miles flatly denied kissing the student, saying he did nothing wrong and was mentoring young women in college.
According to a copy of Miles’ employment contract with Kansas, the university would have “just cause” to terminate its agreement with Miles if the coach engaged in “discredited conduct that is inconsistent with professional standards expected of a coach. head of a college sports team. “
Another clause in the contract that defines “just cause” is “the participation of the head coach in any act, situation or event, or any conduct that, in the opinion of Athletics of KU, leads the head coach and / or KU to the public disgrace, shame, contempt, or mockery … “
It is not clear if these clauses were activated; The terms of the separation agreement are expected to be published in the coming days, according to the university statement.
“This is certainly a difficult day for me and my family,” Miles said in a statement Monday. “I love this university and the youth in our soccer program. I have really enjoyed being the head coach of KU and I know that he is now in a better place than when I arrived.”
“For our student-athletes, I want you to remember that you came to play for KU and got a title here. So, I implore you to stay and build on what we started and do all the things that we talk about doing together. There is a bright future. for all of you and for KU Football. “
Miles ‘attorney, Peter Ginsberg, described Kansas’ decision to put Miles on leave last Saturday as based on a “media backlash” and called it “disturbing and unfair.”
The Taylor Porter Law Firm conducted the investigation on behalf of LSU. Ginsberg told ESPN on Thursday that the results of the investigation “should put an end to unfounded and inaccurate media reports that coach Les Miles engaged in inappropriate contact with an athletic department student volunteer eight years ago.” .
On Friday, a second report, this one by the Husch Blackwell law firm, detailed LSU’s systemic failures to adequately report incidents of sports-related misconduct and sexual abuse. Part of that report showed that former LSU athletic director Joe Alleva recommended in 2013 that Miles be fired as a coach due to the aforementioned allegations of inappropriate behavior with female students.
Miles, 67, was 3-18 in two seasons at Kansas, including a 0-9 record in 2020. The Jayhawks ‘only Big 12 win during Miles’ two seasons at Lawrence was over Texas Tech in 2019. Kansas hasn’t won more than three games in a season since 2009.
Miles guided LSU to a national championship in 2007, and the Tigers played for a national championship under his command in 2011.
Before Long hired him at KU, Miles had been without a coach for part of three seasons after being fired by LSU in 2016.