Former LSU AD Joe Alleva wanted Les Miles fired in 2013 for putting university 'at risk'
BATON ROUGE - New documents released as part of an extensive review of LSU's policies regarding sexual misconduct reveal former Athletics Director Joe Alleva wanted football coach Les Miles ousted in wake of a 2013 investigation into allegations that he made advances toward female student workers.
Emails from Alleva to university leaders recommended cutting ties with Miles following the secretive investigation into the accusations against the head football coach. Those allegations included claims from several female students that Miles messaged them using a burner phone, invited them to his condo and even kissed one of them.
The nearly 8-year-old report said the behavior grew more pronounced following the 2012 national championship game, after which Miles became more "hands on" with the athletics department — including the hiring of student workers.
According to a newly uncovered email from April 2013 to Chancellor William Jenkins, Alleva said ending Miles' employment should be "seriously considered."
"As we move closer to deciding how to handle the results of our investigation I want to recommend at minimum a few items... a written reprimand outlining his inappropriate behavior and consequences for it occurring again, some sort of counseling, and a reduction of any bonus paid to him equal to the attorney fees incurred as a result of his inappropriate behavior... I also believe the full board needs to [be] made aware of the situation before any decisions are made. I think his continued employment needs to be seriously considered. When reviewing the use of a secret personal phone, the text messages, the fact that I had already advised him against such behavior, the evening meeting off campus, etc. it gives me great concern for the future. This issue can or will have serious impact on our university and athletic department."
Alleva appeared even more adamant about letting Miles go in another email sent to then-incoming President F. King Alexander in June of that same year.
"Bob and King, thanks for [the] call today... one more time I want us to think about which scenario is worse for LSU. Explaining why we let him go or explaining why we let him stay. Proactive or reactive... I always believe that people are innocent until proven guilty and in this case I believe he is guilty of insubordination, inappropriate behavior, putting the university, athletic dept and football program at great risk. I think we have cause. I specifically told him not to text, call or be alone with any student workers and he obviously didn't listen. I know there are many possible outcomes and much risk either way, but I believe it is in the best interest in the long run to make a break. The court of public opinion would favor us. The court room? On July 2nd we will know more but the facts will remain the same... thanks."
The report from Husch Blackwell, which was released in its entirety Friday, said the law firm could not locate a response to either email.
The findings suggest that Alleva ultimately accepted the outcome of the 2013 investigation, which led to a letter of reprimand from the university and having Miles sign documents saying that he understood the school's policies. He was also told not to be alone with student employees nor hire them for personal errands.
LSU addressed the investigation internally with Miles, and it was never made public until this week. The review from Husch Blackwell said documents related to that investigation were "intentionally stored offsite" and kept with LSU's and Miles' respective attorneys. It also references an alleged settlement between Miles and one of the accusers.
Miles was fired in September 2016 in the midst of a pair of lackluster football seasons for the Tigers. He currently coaches football at the University of Kansas but was placed on leave by the school Friday evening amid the fallout from the Husch Blackwell report.
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