LSU’s Ed Orgeron released a statement on Tuesday in lieu of testifying before the Louisiana Senate Select Committee on Women and Children.
In the written letter, the head football coach said ex-LSU star running back Derrius Guice’s alleged sexual harassment is “utterly unacceptable.” However, he denied ever speaking to Gloria Scott, who testified before the committee on March 26.
Scott, a 74-year-old who worked part-time security at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, testified that Orgeron knew about Guice’s actions and lied to investigators about it.
After Scott’s testimony, LSU issued a statement in response:
“As detailed in the Husch Blackwell report, Coach Orgeron never had any direct communications with the complainant. He has and will continue to follow university protocols regarding reporting.”
Orgeron’s statement contradicts Scott’s testimony. The coach wrote that he spoke with a man in 2017 who told him that a woman felt “disrespected” by Guice and wanted him banned from playing in the upcoming Citrus Bowl.
“Sometime in December 2017, an athletic department representative told me that Mr. Guice had disrespected an older woman and the representative wanted him to apologize. I was not given the details,” Orgeron wrote in the statement. “I trusted our staff, and like them, believed that if Mr. Guice was disrespectful, he should apologize. The representative brought Mr. Guice to my office after our practice. I was given a number to call, I dialed, and a gentleman answered. I do not recall the gentleman giving me his name. I told the gentleman who I was, and that I was calling with Mr. Guice present, so that Mr. Guice could apologize to Ms. Scott. I do not remember my exact words or the entire conversation.
“The gentleman said something to the effect that Ms. Scott did not want an apology, and that instead she requested that Mr. Guice not be able to play in the Citrus Bowl. The gentleman refused to put Ms. Scott on the phone unless I agreed to the terms upfront. I told the gentleman that I would have to get back to him. The conversation ended, as I was not prepared to suspend a student-athlete for a game without a discussion with the University and obtaining more thorough information,” Orgeron said in the statement.”
Orgeron later learned that “the gentleman” he spoke to in 2017 demanded monetary compensation from LSU for Scott. Evidence obtained through public records requests revealed that Cleavon Williams, an AAU coach, told the LSU athletic department officials that Scott would go public if the school did not bench Guice from the Citrus Bowl or pay her $100,000.
Records obtained by ESPN show that Williams and Scott’s grandson decided on the $100,000 in compensation for “public embarrassment and sexual harassment.” Scott repeatedly denied to the outlet on Monday that she ever asked for money.
She only wanted Guice to be suspended.
Williams, however, told The Advocate Times-Picayune on Tuesday that he wasn’t the individual who spoke with Orgeron.
“I have no recollection,” Williams said. “I never had a conversation with Ed Orgeron.”
The committee is holding hearings on LSU’s failure to comply with Title IX requirements to report and investigate incidents of sexual misconduct after the school released the Husch Blackwell report. This document included sexual misconduct allegations against former head football coach Les Miles, who recently parted ways with Kansas amid the fallout.
During her testimony, Scott recalled when the then LSU player and his friends approached her at at her post outside Elevator 8 in Bunker G in 2017.
“I like to f— women like you, you older women, because y’all know y’all like us young men to f— y’all,” Scott said Guice told her. “And, you know you want this body.”
Guice continued to sexually harass the then 70-year-old, making vulgar comments and rubbing his body up and down from his chest to his genitals, according to USA Today.
Scott told lawmakers during the March 26 hearing that she tried to report the incident to LSU athletic department administrators, the school’s student accountability director and directly to Guice’s head coach, Orgeron. However, the school didn’t take action.
Orgeron allegedly later called Scott to ask her to forgive Guice, calling him a “troubled child.” The head coach continued, telling her that the player was “just kidding.”
“I was so hurt and so nervous and so upset,” Scott said during the Senate Select Committee on Women and Children hearing on March 26. “Never in my life have I had a man or child talk to me like he did.”
“It doesn’t matter how good of a player, football, basketball. You still have to do something when they do something wrong,” she added.