LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson remains in good standing with head coach Brian Kelly despite a recent sexual harassment lawsuit against him by former LSU associate athletic director for football recruiting Sharon Lewis.
“His status here is unchanged,” Kelly said Wednesday when asked about Wilson at a press conference for the opening of spring football on Thursday.
Lewis alleged on March 3 in an amendment to her 2021 sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court in Baton Rouge that Wilson showed her his genitals in her LSU office in 2013. Wilson was an LSU assistant coach from 2010-15 before becoming a head coach at Texas-San Antonio and then at McNeese State.
“We know of no lawsuit that has been filed regarding those allegations that were made,” Kelly said.
OutKick.com received a copy of the amendment to that lawsuit with those allegations on Wednesday by Lewis’ legal team at Larry English Law & Associates in New York City and Shreveport, Louisiana. The “amended complaint” was filed on March 3, 2022, with the United States District Court, Middle District of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.
Lewis alleges in the amended lawsuit that some time in 2013 Wilson “came into plaintiff’s office, closed the door and pulled out his erect penis and asked her to touch it.”
Lewis says she reported the incident to associate athletic directors Verge Ausberry and Miriam Segar, “and they failed to investigate or take any action,” the lawsuit says. Ausberry and Segar were each suspended in 2021 for not following proper procedure in other situations and not reporting accusations of sexual assault by football players against female students to their superiors.
“We consider those as being egregious and simply allegations that were unfounded, so it does not affect Frank Wilson and the person that we know,” Kelly said of what Lewis has charged against Wilson.
Kelly, who was hired as LSU’s new head coach on Nov. 29, hired Wilson on Dec. 7 from the head coaching position at McNeese State. Wilson had never previously coached under or with Kelly or with any other new members of Kelly’s staff. Lewis’ legal team responded to Kelly’s comments late Wednesday to OutKick.
“Coach Brian Kelly is aware Sharon Lewis filed an amended complaint in federal court alleging Frank Wilson sexually harassed her and another victim,” English’s law firm said in a statement. “Brian Kelly, LSU’s $100 million coach is knowingly protecting a sexual predator.”
Lewis’ lawsuit also says Wilson kissed a female employee without her consent in 2013, and after Lewis reported that, nothing was done. Lewis has said she and other female student workers in the football office were sexually harassed from 2012-16 with little done after reports were made to LSU superiors.
“Everybody knew how Frank was,” an unnamed former LSU athletic department employee said in a USA TODAY story on March 3. “It got to a point where we didn’t want any of the girls working with him. I dealt with Frank’s sexual harassment for years, his comments, his behavior. He always made, not only me, but so many of the girls feel so uncomfortable.”
But Kelly said Wednesday, “We stand behind him (Wilson) firmly as a member of our staff.”
LSU president William Tate commented on March 7 in similar fashion to Kelly concerning Lewis’ amended lawsuit at the Baton Rouge Press Club.
“I’m not aware of any prior allegations against coach Frank Wilson, and there is no evidence of any kind that I’ve seen that such allegations have been reported to LSU officials,” Tate said.
“Dr. Tate has chosen to align himself with Verge Ausberry and Miriam Segar, who were both suspended for subverting Title IX complaints in the athletic department over the word of three accusers of Frank Wilson,” English’s law firm said in a statement on March 7. “Sharon Lewis is confident the facts at trial will show Frank Wilson sexually harassed her and others and that LSU concealed Ms. Lewis’ Title IX complaints against Frank Wilson.”
Kelly was also asked if knew of LSU reprimanding Wilson in 2012 after he broke NCAA recruiting rules while an LSU assistant in 2011. A 2011 letter from then-LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said Wilson was “not forthright and honest” in his testimony to the NCAA about the violation. The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations to LSU two weeks ago said that the major violation of “lack of institutional control” was displayed by the LSU basketball and football programs over the time period Wilson was an assistant coach.
“Regarding the recruiting violations, those I can’t comment on, as you know,” Kelly said. “Because we are still currently going through that process with the investigation.”