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LSU, Les Miles Facing $50M Title IX Lawsuit

LSU associate athletic director Sharon Lewis is filing a $50 million Title IX lawsuit against LSU, the school’s lawyers and former football coach Les Miles, Yahoo Sports reports.

The suit — which her attorneys announced would be filed on Wednesday — accuses LSU officials of conspiring to cover up a sexual harassment investigation into Miles and retaliating against Lewis for reporting on the allegations.

“Members of the LSU Board of Supervisors, LSU Athletic Department, LSU Leadership and their law firm, Taylor Porter entered into a conspiracy to hide Les Miles’ sexual harassment investigation from federal officials and the public and to retaliate against Ms. Lewis,” the announcement reads. “Over the last eight (8) years, Ms. Lewis has stood up to protect LSU female student workers and as a result has suffered unimaginable retaliation sanctioned by the LSU Board of Supervisors.”

Lewis started working for LSU football in 2001, when Nick Saban was the head coach, USA Today reports. She was a former All-SEC heptathlete and high jumper, helping the Tigers win national outdoor track and field championships in 1988, 1989 and 1991.

The former LSU head football coach made headlines at the beginning of March after a 2013 internal investigative report was released by LSU during a lawsuit initiated by USA Today.

Miles has been accused of taking female students to his condo alone and, on at least one occasion, kissing a student and suggesting they go to a hotel after telling her he could help her career.

Miles, who was hired at the University of Kansas in 2018, was placed on leave while the school investigated the situation. He has since “agreed to part ways” with the Jayhawks football program.

The in-depth report into allegations against LSU, released in March, addressed Lewis being disciplined for failure to report, but Lewis told USA Today on Tuesday that athletic department officials “tormented her” after she reported allegations against Miles and that “Miles harassed and undermined her for years.”

Lewis is accused separately of failing to report abuse allegations and participating in coverups against LSU student-athletes, and the article states she was pressured to replace black members of the student staff “with blond women or light-skinned black women.”

Former student employee Calise Richardson accused former LSU football player Drake Davis of repeatedly assaulting her while the two were in a relationship in 2016, Yahoo Sports reports.

Richardson says that she notified Lewis — her manager — of the alleged abuse and that Lewis declined to report them to Title IX officials, USA Today reports.

Written by Megan Turner

Meg is in her last semester at the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged.

6 Comments

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  1. i can argue that title IX was created for this purpose. so suits can be filed. when timing permits. Title IX has already ended many many mens sports teams and 100’s of colleges.

    and this won’t end well, because major colleges are majority female and pissed off at tuition and disparity between mens and womens sports programs.

    so maybe we’ll see a wave of lawsuits like this and for other reasons. gender equity will arrive by killing major college sports.

  2. I think this is a defensive move by Lewis. She admitted in the report *she* didn’t handle things properly, and then there’s this in USA Today: The investigator found Lewis responsible for violating LSU’s Title IX policy because she had failed to report the allegations against Davis to anyone when she learned about them in 2016, the report shows. But LSU took no disciplinary action against Lewis, her attorney told USA TODAY.

    It is odd that we gave short shrift to a few women’s complaints, but Les and the department publicly suspended players for doing such college-y things like intimidating a kid into giving up a Playstation, having 13 pairs of shoes, or toking too much weed, and then there was the OL who killed himself. Honey Badger, Jordan Jefferson, etc., to name a few.

  3. Megan, and I know this sounds stupid, but please research this and write this book. I don’t want the movie – but i’ll watch it – just give me the book! Can Agent Brown get an acknwledgement in the dedicated to section?

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