According to a USA Today investigation, the LSU athletic program mishandled numerous counts of sexual misconduct, abuse and rape allegations.
Since securing the head coaching position four years ago, Orgeron received sexual misconduct complaints on no fewer than nine players.
The university and athletic program failed to notify the Title IX office or police of the allegations, although required by federal law.
As told by USA Today, LSU officials doubted women’s allegations, did not provide them with protection and did not investigate or call the police.
The nine players accused of sexual misconduct are RB Derrius Guice, WR Drake Davis, QB Peter Parrish, RB Tae Provens, linebacker Jacob Phillips, TE Zach Sheffer, safety Grant Delpit and defensive linemen Davon Godchaux and Ray Parker. Parrish, Provens, Phillips and Sheffer were all accused of rape. Delpit was accused of recording a woman during sex without her permission and sharing it. Godchaux and Parker were accused of dating violence.
Guice has been accused of multiple sexual misconduct incidents since 2016. His first incident involved him taking a nude photo of Samantha Brennan, a student, after having drinks. Guice shared the photo with other people and Brennan had no knowledge the photo existed.
Guice was also accused of rape by two other college women in 2016, one being a tennis player. No action had been taken against him, and Guice went on to be picked in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by Washington.
USA Today currently has a lawsuit ongoing with LSU. The university refuses to give two victims full access to copies of their file, one being Brennan.
“LSU didn’t do the right thing back in 2016, but I was hoping they would do the right thing now,” she 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.”
LSU has only disciplined two players, Peter Parrish and Drake Davis.
Parrish was accused of raping a woman outside of a bar in a car earlier this year. No criminal charges were filed and Parrish was suspended from the football program for one year in March. In Aug. he transferred to the University of Memphis.
Additionally, at least seven university officials knew Davis was abusing his girlfriend for months.
He began dating a tennis player in Jan. 2017 and the abuse began shortly thereafter. Over the course of a year, she was abused six times.
The victim notified both LSU tennis coaches as well as LSU officials. Davis admitted to the abuse in April 2018 to the deputy athletic director, who did not report his admittance.
No action was taken on her behalf and the Title IX office was not contacted.
Nonetheless, Davis was arrested in August 2018 after his girlfriend showed an athletics department employee photos of the abuse and violent text messages. As a result, Davis was expelled in July 2019– 10 months after he left the school and four months after pleading guilty to domestic abuse.
The university is also being scrutinized for not handling sexual misconduct cases on campus correctly.
According to USA Today, the university found that a fraternity member sexually assaulted two women. Yet, the school would not remove him from a class he shared with one victim and ignored allegations by a third victim.
Moreover, the investigation revealed at least three cases where male students were granted “deferred suspension,” or a probationary period, following sexual assault.
Furthermore, the university deferred suspension for a man who stalked and sexually harassed a student. He pleaded no contest in court to telephonic harassment.
“I just think that honestly, they don’t care,” said one victim to USA Today. “The whole system is on the side of the accused.”
Care to Elaborate
USA Today reached out to all players directly or by attorney or spokesperson for comment.
Also, USA Today submitted questions and reached out to at least 10 coaches and administrators for interviews. They declined the interviews and did not answer nearly four dozen of the questions.
Head coach Ed Orgeron released a statement yesterday denouncing sexual abuse and violence in society, on campus and in the football program.
When asked to elaborate on more than just his initial statement, Orgeron respectfully declined and said, “Your question is important,” per Sports Illustrated.
LSU’s interim president Tom Galligan Jr. released a statement Monday evening announcing the launch of an independent investigation.
A message I'd like to share with the LSU community: pic.twitter.com/LM13X6qQrf
— Tom Galligan (@LSUpresident) November 16, 2020
No further evidence or statements have come forward at this time.