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Report: LSU Repeatedly Neglected Sexual Misconduct Complaints Involving Athletes

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2020

The LSU logo is seen on a helmet during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, September 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

LSU has reportedly failed to adequately handle complaints of sexual misconduct and dating violence against football players, with at least nine players being reported to the police since Ed Orgeron became the head coach in 2016, according to Kenny Jacoby, Nancy Armour and Jessica Luther of USA Today.

Running back Derrius Guice was twice accused of rape and once accused of taking and sharing a lewd photograph, but school officials "either doubted the women's stories, didn't investigate or didn't call the police."

LSU officials reportedly also failed to take action against non-athletes who were accused of sexual assault and other sexual misconduct.

"I just think that honestly they don't care," one of the women who reported the allegations said. "The whole system is on the side of the accused."

LSU president Tom Galligan released a statement saying there will be an independent review of the situation:

Tom Galligan @LSUpresident

A message I'd like to share with the LSU community: https://t.co/LM13X6qQrf

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School officials are required to report any accusations of sexual misconduct to the Title IX office for investigation while also notifying local authorities, but LSU has largely withheld records involving athletes.

Only two of the nine players accused have been formally disciplined by the team: quarterback Peter Parrish and receiver Drake Davis. Davis was expelled but not until four months after pleading guilty to battery on a dating partner and violation of a protective order after he admitted to punching his girlfriend in the stomach.

According to USA Today, at least seven LSU officials had knowledge Davis was physically abusing his girlfriend, a fellow athlete at the school, but "sat on the information for months, while Davis continued to assault and strangle her."

Orgeron denied the claims that the program hasn't followed procedure:

"We are committed to a culture of safety, equity and accountability for all students and staff. We provide education, training and resources to combat violence, sexual misconduct and inequality. When we become aware of accusations, we have an obligation to immediately report every allegation to the University's Title IX office so that appropriate due process can be implemented."

Orgeron later spoke to reporters, saying he "will continue to take appropriate action and comply with reporting protocols" when dealing with sexual misconduct and abuse.

USA Today further reported that:

"Guice’s attorney has said he was never disciplined, and LSU attorney Johanna Posada confirmed in response to a public records request that four other athletes were not disciplined, either. They include running back Tae Provens, linebacker Jacob Phillips, tight end Zach Sheffer, all accused of rape; and safety Grant Delpit, who was accused of recording a woman during sex without her knowledge and sharing the video with others. Provens was arrested; his case remains open, the district attorney's office said. The others have not been criminally charged."

At least two players who had important roles on the 2020 national championship team were accused of misconduct, but the details "remain largely secret."

The school has also concealed records relating to Guice, who spent three years with LSU from 2015-17 before being drafted by the Washington Football Team. He was released by Washington in August after being arrested on domestic violence charges stemming from three separate occasions.

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