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Ed Orgeron Comments on USA Today Article About LSU Mishandling of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Orgeron says program has "legal and moral obligation" to report allegations of sexual assault
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LSU coach Ed Orgeron responded on Monday to a USA Today article referencing the mishandling by the LSU administration and football program of allegations of sexual misconduct made against multiple former football players. 

"We need to support and protect victims of violence and sexual abuse of any kind. There is no place in our society, nor on this campus or our football program for any behavior of this type. When accusations are made, we have a legal and moral obligation to report every allegation to the university's Title IX office so due process and be implemented. I have in the past and will continue to take appropriate action and comply with reporting protocols. I have confidence today that the university is working to address our policies when allegations arise."

When asked for further comment later in the press conference, Orgeron respectfully declined but said "your question is important."

The investigation launched by USA Today references multiple cases in which multiple people within the LSU administration and football program ignored victim complaints against abusers on the football team. The investigation revealed allegations against nine former football players, including running back Derrius Guice and wide receiver Drake Davis, since Orgeron took over as head coach in 2016.

Guice was arrested in August on multiple counts of domestic violence, resulting in being cut from the Washington Football Team. Two weeks later, USA Today released an article detailing multiple allegations of rape made against the former LSU running back while he was in college. 

The two reported incidents came within months of each other in 2016, with the two women telling multiple people at the school at the time, including two coaches, an athletics administrator and a nurse. The two women did not report the incidents to law enforcement, according to the report, as LSUPD nor BRPD have any records of them.

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Davis was a wide receiver on the team and was indefinitely suspended when he was arrested in August 2018 for punching and grabbing his former girlfriend by the throat on multiple occasions.

According to the USA Today report, LSU's executive deputy athletic director Verge Ausberry was sent text messages by Davis admitting to the assault. The report found that "when it came to Guice and Davis, LSU officials made similar errors, failing to get the Title IX office or police involved when federal laws and school policies required it."

"There is a due process there," Ausberry said on 104.5 ESPN when asked about his appearance in the USA Today article. "I really can't discuss it."

LSU released a statement to The Advocate upon hearing news of the impending USA Today article. 

"In the meantime, it’s important for us to emphasize that LSU does not tolerate sexual assault or any form of abuse," spokesman Ernie Ballard said. "We are committed to responding promptly to any reports of misconduct, to investigating these reports in a manner that is fair and equitable, and to supporting the victims in every way we can. Putting an end to abuse and sexual assault is an institutional priority, and we are constantly working to achieve that goal.”

This story will be updated as more information is provided.