Kansas and head football coach Les Miles have mutually agreed to part ways effective immediately, the school announced late Monday night. Miles, who took over the Jayhawks program in 2019, was placed on administrative leave over the weekend after an explosive report became public last week that revealed he behaved inappropriately around women during his time as LSU coach.
Announcing the decision to place him on administrative leave over the weekend, Kansas athletic director Jeff Long vowed to "conduct a full review" to determine appropriate next steps.
"I am extremely disappointed for our university, fans and everyone involved with our football program," Long said Monday night. "There is a lot of young talent on this football team, and I have no doubt we will identify the right individual to lead this program. We will begin the search for a new head coach immediately with an outside firm to assist in this process. We need to win football games, and that is exactly what we're going to do."
Miles, who was 3-18 in his two seasons at Kansas, called the mutual parting a "difficult day" for him and his family. The terms of the separation were not disclosed.
"I love this university and the young men in our football program. I have truly enjoyed being the head coach at KU and know that it is in a better place now than when I arrived," he said. "To our student-athletes, I want you to remember that you came to play for KU and earn a degree here. So, I implore you to stay and build on what we started and do all of the things we talked about doing together. There is a bright future for all of you and for KU Football."
The school will pay Miles $1,991,062.50 of the remaining $8 million on his contract as part of a settlement agreement between the two. Long said on Tuesday that Miles' buyout will come via athletic department revenue.
Kansas offensive coordinator Mike DeBord will continue to serve as the program's acting coach until an interim coach is determined, the program explained. A national search for a new coach will begin immediately.
Miles' alleged misconduct at LSU surfaced after a Husch Blackwell investigation into Title IX issues at LSU, which detailed inappropriate behavior that included "texting female students, taking them to his condo alone, making them feel uncomfortable and, on at least one occasion, kissing a student and suggesting they go to a hotel after telling her he could help her career." The Husch Blackwell investigation also brought the revelation that former LSU athletic director Joe Alleva wanted to fire Miles for cause in 2013 over his misconduct. Miles continued to coach the Tigers before being fired in the fall of 2016.
Kansas officials told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd that the Jayhawks thoroughly vetted Miles and did not encounter any red flags ahead of his hiring.
"We did background checks. We did all of those kinds of things," said a high-ranking school official who did not want to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the proceedings. "We talked to people about Les and what he was doing. No one gave any indication of this. No investigations, no reports, no nothing. Zero."
Miles previously reached a settlement with a former LSU athletic department student intern while he served as coach at LSU, according to a February report in the Baton Rouge Advocate. He has denied any wrongdoing. His attorney, Peter Ginsberg, issued a statement Saturday calling Long's decision to place Miles on leave as "bending to the winds of media blowback."
"Kansas' decision to put Les Miles on administrative leave is both disturbing and unfair," Ginsburg said Saturday. "To fail to recognize that a person's career should not be compromised by unsubstantiated allegations hardly is consistent with the example an institution of higher learning should champion."
Kansas sources pushed back against Ginsberg's assertion.
"That was disappointing," a source told Dodd referring to Ginsburg's statement. "He put out a misleading comment in his statement."