Late Monday night, the University of Kansas announced it had “mutually agreed to part ways” with head football coach Les Miles. The fact that Miles is out as head coach on International Women’s Day is truly a delightful display of life imitating art.
Just last week, it was reported that Miles was doing some really gross things during his time at LSU, which also is largely to blame for its terrible hush-hush handling of the situation and slap-on-the-wrist punishments for Miles. Kansas, on the other hand, is responding with integrity and swift moves. I respect the hell out of them for that.
“Because this involves Coach Miles’ former employer and pre-dates his time at KU, and because we do not have factual knowledge about details of these allegations, it is not appropriate for us to comment further,” Kansas spokesman Dan Beckler said last week. Beckler also said that Kansas was not aware of the allegations against Miles when they hired him.
After placing Miles on administrative leave on Friday night, Kansas athletic director Jeff Long announced the school would be conducting a full review.
“Today, I placed head football coach Les Miles on administrative leave as we conduct a full review to determine the appropriate next steps,” Long said in a statement released by Kansas on Friday. “We are reviewing the Husch Blackwell report released today by LSU following yesterday’s release of the Taylor Porter report. The past two days have been the first time that we have had access to either report.”
“Even though the allegations against him occurred at LSU, we take these matters very seriously at KU. Now that we have access to this information, we will take the coming days to fully review the material and to see if any additional information is available,” Long’s statement continued. “ I do not want to speculate on a timeline for our review because it is imperative we do our due diligence. We will be able to comment further once our review is complete.”
According to CBS, Kansas officials said that the Jayhawks “thoroughly vetted Miles and did not encounter any red flags ahead of his hiring.”
“We did background checks. We did all of those kinds of things,” sais a high-ranking school official who did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the issue. “We talked to people about Les and what he was doing. No one gave any indication of this. No investigations, no reports, no nothing. Zero.”
That tells me all I need to know about LSU. When universities or organizations of any kind prioritize performance over integrity, it invalidates the victims and perpetuates this behavior. LSU should be ashamed of themselves, and the NCAA should take actions against them. Thankfully, Kansas conducted themselves well in response to this situation. We need more people willing to do what’s right, and to stop minimizing and normalizing this type of behavior. Well done, Kansas.