Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long said he and the university were unaware of any past offenses by Les Miles before hiring him as the soccer team’s head coach in 2018.
Miles was placed on administrative leave Saturday amid allegations of inappropriate behavior toward female students during his tenure as head coach at LSU. Kansas announced Monday that he was out as head coach.
“When Les Miles was identified as the top candidate to be the head coach in 2018, the University of Kansas and the Kansas Athletics do so, with all the hires, we ran multiple background checks on Coach Miles,” Long said at a conference from virtual press on Tuesday afternoon. .
“I also asked Coach Miles directly during the interview process if there was anything in his past that could embarrass the university, himself, or our program, and he said no. We also did our due diligence in speaking to people within from LSU athletic department to see if there is anything we need to be aware of regarding Coach Miles’ tenure at LSU and we are not getting any indication of any issues. “
Long said that in early February, Miles’ camp informed Kansas of a legal dispute in Louisiana, but was unable to share information about it. Long said he asked Miles if there was anything they should worry about from the reports, and Miles said no.
“At that time we requested copies of all reports related to Les Miles while he was at LSU,” Long said. “Miles’s legal counsel gave us a variety of reasons why they would not provide them to us. On February 24, we learned some details of the allegations when The Advocate published its initial article followed by the USA Today article that same day, which there was a secret settlement and investigation for sexual harassment in 2013. “
Miles had three years left and about $ 8 million left in a five-year contract he signed with Kansas in November 2018. The two parties reached a $ 1.99 million deal, according to the school.
On March 4, 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 contacted some via Facebook and text messages, was He met them alone off campus and kissed at least one of the female students. they. Long said that was when they received the full report, because it was publicly available.
Miles denied kissing the student, saying he did nothing wrong and was tutoring young women at the university.
Long was asked why Miles was not fired for good cause if Miles lied to him.
“That’s really a legal question about how he could or couldn’t answer at the time. But that was his answer,” Long said.
When pressed again, Long said, “It’s debatable if that’s a lie, and I’ll leave that to our legal folks to figure it out. We felt it was important to move our program forward, that we basically had to agree to share and pay. mutually to Les for the rest of 21 is basically what it came down to. “
When asked if he was concerned about the state of his own work, Long said he was focused on Kansas student-athletes.
While Long said there are currently no top candidates to replace Miles, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg that Tulane’s Willie Fritz, Buffalo’s Lance Leipold, Nevada’s Jay Norvell and Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz could be potential candidates for the job, which it will probably focus your search. about the FBS head coaches.
Mike DeBord, who was hired as Kansas’ offensive coordinator on February 2, will serve as the program’s interim head coach until an interim head coach is determined.