LSU was aware of multiple claims of sexual assault against former football players and ignored them for years,according to a report by USA Today. The report states that a total of nine players have had allegations and complaints of sexual misconduct or violence against women since Ed Orgeron took over the program in September 2016.
A member of the LSU dive team reported to the LSU administration that the declining Derrius Guice, who played for the Tigers from 2015-17, raped her boyfriend at a party in the spring of 2016. This comes after a report surfaced in August that Guice raped two women in 2016. It is unclear whether the dive team member is one of those women.
According to the report, it was the first of several allegations against Guice that the government ignored.
A female tennis player reported a second allegation of rape against Guice in April 2017. Two other women told administrators that Guice took a nude photo of one of their friends at a party and shared it with members of the LSU football staff.
The report states that LSU did not follow proper protocols in all cases, which allowed Guice to continue playing football.
“We are unshakable in our commitment to responding promptly to reports of misconduct, to investigate these reports in a fair and equitable manner, to support victims of sexual assault and to protect the privacy of our students under the law,” LSU said in a statement against USA Today. “End sexual violence is an institutional priority and we are constantly working to achieve that goal.”
The report also indicates that at least seven LSU officials were aware of multiple other cases involving other LSU players, including former wide receiver Drake Davis who allegedly insulted his girlfriend. The women told police that there were six cases of abuse as of May 2017, the report said. He was arrested in August 2018 for dating violence and suspended from the team. He was arrested a month later after allegedly violating a court order and continued to attack his girlfriend.
The lawyer reported Friday that LSU police did not prosecute in August 2018 because they feared repercussions from local businessman Jim Bernhard. Documents state that Bernhard is Davis’s legal guardian, although no court records of an official adoption exist.
A lawyer representing LSU said USA Today that it also received rape allegations against backsliding from Tae Provens, linebacker Jacob Phillips and tight end Zach Sheffer, as well as a security charge from Grant Delpit in which he allegedly shot a woman during sex without her consent and shared it with others. Delpit denied the allegations and none of the players were punished by the school.
The full investigation through USA Today also describes several instances where administrators ignore allegations against non-athletes.
It is the latest and most alarming negative news report to hit the LSU program since it won the 2019 national title. The school has itself imposed sanctions for violations of the rules by former players and individuals involved in the program. Former wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was banned from the facilities for two years for distributing cash to players on the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome following the national title win over Clemson in January 2020. A booster also funneled money through a hospital foundation to provide money to the family from a former player.
LSU has awarded itself eight grants over the next two years as a result of its research.
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