| NEWS LSU mishandled sexual misconduct complaints against students, including top athletes - USA Today

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For more than a year, people at the highest levels of the Louisiana State University athletic department fielded complaints about their prized running back, Derrius Guice.

Early in the spring 2016 semester, a member of the LSU diving team told her coach and an athletic department administrator that Guice raped her friend after she’d passed out drunk at a party.

That summer, a female student told two senior athletics administrators that Guice took a partially nude photograph of her without her permission, and then shared it with a team equipment manager and possibly others.

Then, in April 2017, the athletic department received reports of a second rape allegation against Guice, this time by a women’s tennis player.

Federal laws and LSU’s own policies require university officials to take such allegations seriously and report them to the Title IX office for investigation, as well as to campus police if the incidents occurred on school property.

Yet at each step of the way, LSU officials either doubted the women’s stories, didn’t investigate, or didn’t call the police, allowing Guice to continue his football career.

LSU’s failure to adequately address sexual misconduct goes beyond one star running back, a USA TODAY investigation found. Officials in the university’s athletic department and broader administration repeatedly have ignored complaints against abusers, denied victims’ requests for protections and subjected them to further harm by known perpetrators.


At least seven LSU officials had direct knowledge that wide receiver Drake Davis was physically abusing his girlfriend, a different LSU women’s tennis player, but they sat on the information for months, while Davis continued to assault and strangle her. In another case, the school determined that a fraternity member had sexually assaulted two women, but it refused to move him out of classes he shared with one of them and altogether ignored an allegation against him by a third female student.

USA TODAY also found three cases in which, rather than expelling or suspending male students found responsible for sexual assault, LSU allowed them to stay on campus. The men, non-athletes, received "deferred suspensions," a probationary period during which they must stay out of trouble.

In a fourth case, LSU deferred the suspension of a man who stalked and sexually harassed a fellow student, even after he’d pleaded no contest in court to telephonic harassment.

“I just think that honestly they don’t care,” one of the women told USA TODAY. “The whole system is on the side of the accused.”

Some of the women in this story are not being named because it is USA TODAY’s policy not to identify individuals who allege sexual crimes and domestic violence without their permission. Two chose to use their full names.

As part of a broader crackdown on universities for mishandling sexual violence, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights launched a sex-discrimination investigation into LSU in August 2015, after a woman filed a complaint saying that no one informed her of her Title IX options when she reported her sexual assault to campus police. Title IX is the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education.

Three years later, in July 2018, investigators dropped the case, saying the victim had stopped communicating with them, records show. Yet when it came to Guice and Davis, LSU officials made similar errors, failing to get the Title IX office or police involved when federal laws and school policies required it, USA TODAY’s investigation found.

LSU declined to make 10 coaches and administrators available for interviews. Citing the privacy interests of those involved, school officials did not answer nearly four dozen questions that USA TODAY submitted Nov. 4 about their handling of specific allegations and Title IX cases more generally.

In a statement, LSU said it does not tolerate sexual violence of any form.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to respond promptly to any reports of misconduct, to investigate these reports in a manner that is fair and equitable, to support victims of sexual assault, and to protect the privacy of our students according to the law,” the statement said. “Putting an end to sexual assault is an institutional priority, and we are constantly working to achieve that goal.”

Guice and Davis included, at least nine LSU football players have been reported to police for sexual misconduct and dating violence since coach Ed Orgeron took over the team four years ago, records show. But the details of how LSU handled complaints against the other seven, including two who played key roles on its 2020 national championship team, remain largely secret.

For three months, LSU refused to release full campus police reports involving four players to reporters. Although such reports often are public, university officials said the cases could still be prosecuted and releasing documents could harm the cases – even though, years later, it has only shared one of them with the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office, the office said.

USA TODAY sued LSU in mid-October for access to four of the reports, arguing that its failure to produce them violated state public records laws. On Nov. 13, the university provided three of them. But it redacted the names of the suspects, victims and witnesses, citing not a public records exemption but rather Louisiana's constitutional right to privacy.

LSU continues to withhold police and Title IX records from at least two women who've requested copies of their own files. Samantha Brennan, the woman who said Guice photographed her without her consent, said she never wanted to press charges against him. But LSU told her she’d have to wait to access her police report until the statute of limitations ends – six years from the time of the incident.

USA TODAY and Brennan sued LSU for access to her full police report. The lawsuit is ongoing.

“LSU didn’t do the right thing back in 2016, but I was hoping they would do the right thing now,” Brennan said. “Unfortunately that was not the case, and the harder they fought to keep me from my police report, the harder I fought to obtain it.”
 

TerryP

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Another check mark on that list on Orgeron. LSU officials are becoming increasingly 'disenchanted,' the SEC isn't happy with the way he handled the C-19 issues, their fan base is beginning to turn tail (fitting, isn't it?)

And then we have the NCAA sleeping in Baton Rouge.
 

Tidestalker

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Wow. That's so pretty damming stuff there if true. The Guice saga there is just sickening... 🤦‍♂️
 

Bamaclam

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If you ask me this is no different than the Baylor mess and the PSU mess.

LSU and their administration is disgusting. They turned a blind eye to the Wade garbage and now the football team and administration at large.

Not sure why this hasn't already gone "nucular" in the press. Don't see how a lot of people don't survive this.
 
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Tidestalker

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TBH I'm not too privy to his personal history... I just know he's bounced around as a high profile assistant for a lot of years and was always considered an ace recruiter for somewhat sleazy reasons.

Sure sounds like USA today has done some legit research though. Will be interesting to see if anything comes from this!
 

SoCalPatrick

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You won't find many around SoCal who don't know him to be a piece of shit.

For your reference sake:

Found this on another board;

“1991 as an assistant at Miami, (wikipedia) “a "permanent injunction of protection" was granted to a woman by a Dade County court against Orgeron prohibiting "any act of domestic violence." Orgeron was ordered into a 26-week domestic violence counseling program.”

In 1992, still an assistant at Miami, he was arrested in a bar fight in Baton Rouge. You know something is wrong when you’ve done five years at Miami, then get back into coaching after a year hiatus at Nichols State.

At Southern Cal earlier this decade, Orgeron was THE recruiting coordinator while Reggie Bush made off with that $100K.

At Ole Miss, Orgeron’s very first meeting with the team, he referenced his own new players as MF’s. In the heat of the moment, that’s not even acceptable. Would it be okay for a history professor to tell his class, first day, “All you MF’s are going to learn a lot in this history class”?

After Hurricane Katrina, with Tulane’s program in shambles (before they were able to share facilities with Louisiana Tech, and thus keep playing the season), Orgeron called Greg Davis’ son, and Tulane assistant, and tried to begin poaching players for Ole Miss from the Tulane program. Davis turned him in. Nothing ever came of it after Orgeron pretended he didn’t know it was a violation.

At Tennessee all the sudden - Orgeron having only been there a year - six “minor” NCAA violations for the Vols.

Finally, after leaving Tennessee, Orgeron called early recruits at Tennessee, trying to recruit them to USC…after they were already technically enrolled at Tennessee. Had he forgotten the rules he had already learned after his own Tulane scandal?
 

rocknthefreeworld

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If even half of this is true they should be shut down for a while. This goes past one coach and is an institutional issue.
 

TerryP

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You've hit a salient point here.

THIS story is an institutional issue directly relating to Title IV.
The football teams self imposed sanctions directly relate to the NCAA's compliance requirements
The basketball team falls in the same jurisdiction. Both of these are also institutional.

This years season, to date, falls on the football coaching staff. They are dealing with things we've seen here, at Bama, and their dealing with this horridly.

Now, with the Covid situation and their lack of transparency? If it's true they only had four positive cases (not enough to stop practice) and then boosted the contact tracing numbers to avoid a game? I don't know who that falls under. There is no "ethics council" in the SEC or NCAA, so to speak.

All of these fit one category: institutional.
 

BamaFan334

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Yeah, this makes me feel awful for ever thinking he was funny or ever supporting him as a hard working coach that deserved some good fortune. I just can't believe a university is stupid enough to see what happened at Penn State and Baylor and not do the right thing. Even if they looked at it from the standpoint of making the university look good over protecting the actual students, you would think they would have done something. I'd be getting a list of who knew if I was a parent, I would sue the shit out of everyone and take the university for millions, let the dust settle and then go after each one physically.
 

c5vetman

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well apparently, from this article, sounds like most of the players they've lost were due to domestic violence instead of Covid.
 

TerryP

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Not to "lacrosse" storylines, or try to duke juke the point of the story here, but let's not forget one Joe Alleva was in charge while all of this was going on.
 

UAgrad93

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Just thinking out load here, BUT maybe all of this stuff is coming to light again because all of the NCAA investigating that is going on now. Wasn't the Guice story out maybe 6 months ago or even a year ago? Now that the NCAA is doing some digging, these women have come out once again to tell their stories, hoping this time to be heard and something be done.
 

ColAngus

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Disgusting. I didn't know much about O's seedy history.
 

mando

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My first thought when I read this earlier above and beyond the moral issues was that this is what provides the institution the path for dismissal for violating the terms of the contract. They could decide to not pay him a dime or a much reduced separation package.

When your fundamental values are broken you get messes like this.
 

rammerjammer

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I can see this being a way that LSU can cut bait with O. Winning cures all ills, and now that he is not winning, this will be an easy way to for them to move on.
 

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