LSU football coach Ed Orgeron issued a firm rebuttal Thursday to remarks attributed to him in a recent USA Today report on rape allegations against former Tigers running back Derrius Guice. The USA Today story detailed how Guice allegedly raped two women when he was a freshman at LSU in 2016. One of the victims was dating an LSU football recruit at the time of the alleged incident, according to the report.
The player ultimately joined the Tigers, and he said Orgeron brought up the alleged assault to the player about a year after it happened.
"Everybody's girlfriend sleeps with other people," Orgeron was quoted as saying, according to the former player, whose name was not revealed by USA Today.
The player told USA Today that he "lost all respect" for Orgeron after the conversation. But Orgeron portrayed their conversation in a different light in his Thursday statement.
"The sexual assault allegations made against Derrius Guice should be taken very seriously and the alleged victims must be heard and supported," Orgeron said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. "I will always stand up for what is right and without question, I have complied -- and I will continue to comply -- with all university Title IX protocols and procedures.
"The anonymous quote attributed to me by a former player in USA Today is not accurate. Out of respect for the young man's privacy, I will not reveal the full details of the conversation. What I will say is that a player came into my office to discuss transferring from our program. We also discussed the player's relationship challenges with his girlfriend. I told him what I would tell my own sons: 'We all experience heartbreak growing up. Do not throw away a promising academic and football career at LSU because of a personal obstacle.' Any insinuation that I had knowledge of his girlfriend and Derrius Guice is completely false."
Interim LSU president Tom Galligan told a Baton Rouge television station Thursday that the school is investigating the rape allegations. The Washington NFL team released Guice earlier this month after he was arrested on domestic violence-related charges, including felony strangulation.