New report alleges LSU mishandled sexual misconduct complaints involving athletes
LSU has dealt with a black eye in recent months following accusations involving former star RB Derrius Guice.
About three months ago, a report from USA TODAY Sports surfaced that reported that two former LSU students claim Guice raped them during his time in Baton Rouge. The outlet reportedly found records of both women sharing their experiences with LSU — including informing two unnamed football coaches, an athletics administrator and a nurse.
Now a new report from USA TODAY claims that LSU’s failure to adequately address sexual misconduct goes beyond one star running back. 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.
USA TODAY reported that 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. The news outlet 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.
“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.”
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.
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.”