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Reports allege OSU president aware of abuse during his time at LSU

The university has yet to provide comment to KEZI 9 News on the claims being made about F. King Alexander's time as president of Louisiana State University.

Posted: Mar 6, 2021 11:09 AM
Updated: Mar 8, 2021 1:20 PM

CORVALLIS. Ore. -- Oregon State University president F. King Alexander is under fire following a bombshell report that alleges he failed to act on Title IX recommendations while he was president at Louisiana State University from 2013 to 2019.

It follows reports from ESPN that University of Kansas head football coach Les Miles has been placed on administrative leave after reports that he sexually harassed and abused female workers during his time at LSU.

The reports also allege that then-incoming president of LSU and current OSU president F. King Alexander knew about it. The university has yet to provide comment to KEZI 9 News regarding these claims.

A months long report published Friday by private law firm Husch Blackwell purportedly found that for years, LSU -- including when Alexander was the president -- did not follow Title IX procedures, saying leadership failed with respect to Title IX after interviewing nearly 50 current and former employees, students, witnesses and other community stakeholders.

Title IX protects people from sex based discrimination including. It makes it against the law for any person to be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance such as a public university. 

The firm was hired by the university to conduct an investigation after USA Today published a bombshell report in November 2020 which chronicles a number of incidents where LSU allegedly mishandled reports of sexual and related misconduct including against former football coach Les Miles, who coached the tigers from 2005 to 2016.

In the 262-page report from Husch Blackwell, they highlight an email sent by then Athletic Director Joe Alleva to then incoming president F. King Alexander saying in part: 

"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 department, and football program at great risk."

Alleva goes on to say he told Miles not to text, call, or be alone with any student workers and he did not listen.

Husch Blackwell said it is not their job to say whether these allegation against the coach were true, but whether or not the university responded to this report in a manner which is consistent with "well recognized best practices and institutional policy" which they say they did not.

Several other incidences of abuse were highlighted in the report which the firm says were not investigated or handled properly, citing, in part, an under-staffing of the Title IX office during the time.

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