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UPDATE: Testimony wraps for the day, LSU athletic director agrees to come back at a later date

2 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Friday, March 26 2021 Mar 26, 2021 March 26, 2021 7:15 PM March 26, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward has agreed to return for a third Title IX hearing before state lawmakers after Friday's meeting ended just after 7 p.m.

Leaders at Louisiana State University have vowed to improve the university's handling of sexual misconduct cases, but local lawmakers want more of an explanation as to why the mishandling occurred in the first place and exactly what the university intends to do to improve its protocol.

State lawmakers listened as prominent members of the university respond to these inquiries during a Friday, March 26 hearing.

Those with ties to the university who have been invited to the hearing include past and present members of LSU's Board of Supervisors and LSU's Board of Athletics and Representatives from LSU's Title IX.  

State Senator Regina Barrow is one of several legislators prepared to face these LSU representatives with questions.

Barrow spoke to WBRZ on the issue, saying, "We need to know that when children or young people arrive on the campus, the parents and the child can feel secure... that if something occurs, someone will speak up and protect them."

Friday's meeting is a follow-up to a meeting that occurred two weeks ago concerning the Husch-Blackwell report on how the university handled sexual assault claims. 

Lawmakers indicate the meeting wasn't satisfactory in providing a clear report of why the claims were not handled properly and exactly what university leaders will do to ensure such cases are addressed correctly moving forward.

Members of the Select Committee on Children and others say they want to hear a layout of what the university plans to implement to ensure sexual assault cases are handled in a swift and just manner.

Barrow said, "At this time it just seems like two people have been chosen or picked out and certainly it sounds like they may have not followed what was written in protocol. But it's our understanding that they were somewhat following the directions that they were given, which was part of the testimony that we heard."

"So, that then kind of leads us to the next steps in terms of, like... who knew? Why didn't they follow the Title IX orders? Why didn't they follow the letter of the law that we passed in 2015, and why wasn't it reported properly? Why wasn't action taken properly?"

Questions like these are what lawmakers hoped to hear LSU representatives respond to during Friday's 11 a.m. meeting.

Senator Barrow has multiple legislations she would like to draft and is trying to figure out which one will carry the most weight.

WBRZ learned that lawmakers were prepared to subpoena those who did not attend Friday's meeting, ahead of the next meeting which is slated to occur before the next session. 

This is a developing situation that WBRZ will continue to monitor.  

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