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Agency will investigate former LSU president's claim that board intervened in athletics affairs

4 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago Friday, March 19 2021 Mar 19, 2021 March 19, 2021 2:03 PM March 19, 2021 in News
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

BATON ROUGE - Former LSU President F. King Alexander may have landed Louisiana's flagship university back under the microscope this week by alleging that the Board of Supervisors meddled in his duties during his tenure there, a revelation that came out as Alexander fights to keep his new job at Oregon State University.

This week, Alexander faced a grilling from Oregon's Board of Trustees, after a report from law firm Husch Blackwell revealed longstanding problems with how LSU handled reports of sexual misconduct. One of the biggest takeaways from the report was that Alexander, who now faces calls for his firing at Oregon State, allowed football coach Les Miles to stay on at the school for over three years after a secretive 2013 investigation uncovered several accusations of inappropriate behavior from Miles. 

When questioned by Oregon State's board about how he responded to the allegations against Miles, Alexander claimed his hands were tied when it came to issues in the athletics department. The former LSU president said the Board of Supervisors had opted to retain Miles just two months prior to Alexander's arrival at the university and that the board “explained it to me in my first week of walking in there.”

“Unlike here," Alexander said of Oregon State, "there is a great deal of board intervention into athletics." 

Though board members are typically assumed to have an influence in hiring and firing high-profile athletics employees, Alexander's blunt depiction of how LSU's board operated has drawn the attention of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which now plans to investigate the university according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Chronicle cited SACSCOC standards, which say a college's chief executive has "ultimate responsibility for and exercises appropriate control over the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program.” The university could now face sanctions if the investigation reveals it's not in compliance.

You can read the full report documenting Alexander's criticisms against LSU by clicking here.

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