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Report: Les Miles Reached Settlement with Student Over Alleged Harassment During LSU Tenure

LSU head coach Les Miles

A settlement between former LSU head coach Les Miles and a former student at the university surfaced on Wednesday as investigators look into the school's handling of sexual misconduct and domestic violence complaints, according to The Advocate's Andrea Gallo and Brooks Kubena.

According to The Advocate, the settlement ties back to an incident about a decade ago when a former LSU Athletic Department student intern reported Miles "hitting on her." The settlement took place during Miles's tenure as LSU's head coach. 

"As part of the Husch Blackwell review and our internal investigations, we have heard about a settlement, but LSU was not involved in it and has not seen it," LSU vice president of strategic communications Jim Sabourin told The Advocate. 

Miles, now the head coach at Kansas, denied the allegations, telling The Advocate that he did not make advances toward a student intern. 

He reportedly did not address direct questions about the settlement. According to The Advocate, the settlement does not appear in searches of Baton Rouge court records.

Shortly after The Advocate published its story on Wednesday, USA TODAY reported that Miles was investigated over allegations he sexually harassed and made sexist comments about student workers. The investigation was done in 2013 and, according to USA Today, while Miles's actions were deemed improper, he faced no public repercussions and the investigation had not previously been publicly reported. 

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"We are not in a position to comment on these allegations, as there is currently a court order prohibiting the disclosure of any related information," Sabourin told USA TODAY.

News of the reported settlement comes as the university is in the midst of a larger review of how it has handled allegations of misconduct and domestic violence. 

In November a USA TODAY investigation found that at least nine LSU football players had been reported for sexual misconduct or dating violence at the school since 2016. In some cases, no disciplinary action was taken and in almost every case, LSU allegedly ignored school policies and the law in failing to follow up. Among the reported incidents, one case involved former LSU running back Derrius Guice, who was accused of rape by two former LSU students. In another case, women's tennis coach Mike Sell was informed that former wide receiver Drake Davis punched a tennis player in the stomach, but Sell did not report the assault to the school or the Title IX coordinator.

At the time of USA TODAY's initial report, Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron, who took over in 2016, said, "LSU does not tolerate sexual assault or any form of abuse."

The Husch Blackwell law firm investigation was prompted by USA TODAY's November reporting. According to The Advocate, the firm is expected to deliver a report late next week.

Miles became LSU's head coach in 2005 and won one national championship and two SEC titles during his tenure in Baton Rouge. LSU fired him four games into the 2016 season and replaced him with Orgeron. 

In 2018, Miles was hired as Kansas's head coach, and his five-year contract is set to expire after the 2025 season.