Orgeron defends response to allegations against LSU players

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Monday that he has and will continue to take “appropriate action” when he receives allegations of player misconduct such as sexual abuse.

The LSU coach, now in his fourth full season, was responding to USA Today investigative article detailing numerous instances in which the university’s athletic administration appeared not to follow up in accordance with protocols on complaints by alleged sexual assault victims.

“We need to support and protect victims of violence, sexual abuse of any kind,” Orgeron said. “There’s no place in our society nor on this campus or on our football program for any behavior of this type.

“When accusations are made, we have a legal and moral obligation to report every allegation to the university’s Title IX office so due process can be implemented,” Orgeron said. “I have in the past, and will continue to take appropriate action and comply with reporting protocols.”

The article described repeated instances in which LSU declined to release requested information to not just the media, but also victims themselves, about how they were or had handled complaints against former players including running back Derrius Guice and receiver Drake Davis in recent years.

Guice left LSU in good standing and was selected in the NFL draft by Washington, which has since released him after revelations of his assault on a woman. Davis was suspended and ultimately expelled from LSU, but only after prolong and repeated abuse of his girlfriend went unaddressed, according to the report.

The report states that Guice and Davis are among at least nine LSU football players reported to police for sexual misconduct and dating violence since coach Ed Orgeron took over the team four years ago. Also among them was former reserve QB Peter Parrish, who was suspended for a year after being accused of rape and then transferred to Memphis.

Among recent former players accused of sexual misconduct but never disciplined were running back Tae Provens, linebacker Jacob Phillips, tight end Zach Sheffer and safety Grant Delpit, according to USA Today. The article stated that Provens, Phillips and Sheffer were accused of rape, while Delpit was accused of recording a woman without her knowledge and sharing the video. Delpit has denied the allegations through his attorney, Shawn Holley.

Orgeron said he is confident that “the university is working to address our policies and processes when allegations arise.”

Orgeron made the statement at the onset of his usual Monday-of-game-week media conference. He declined to take further questions on the matter.

LSU is scheduled to play at Arkansas on Saturday.