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LSU Sued for $50 Million Associate Athletic Director of Football Recruiting

Sharon Lewis filed a lawsuit against her current employer, Louisiana State University (LSU), for gender discrimination, racial prejudice, and a failure to comply with Title IX requirements. She is LSU’s associate athletic director for football recruiting and alumni relations. Lewis claims LSU retaliated against her for reporting racist remarks and inappropriate sexual behavior by former LSU football coach, Les Miles. In a news conference about the lawsuit, Lewis’s attorney accused LSU of “working around the investigation requirements under Title IX and the requirements for the protection of those who reported Title IX sexual harassment and sexual violence incidents.”

In her lawsuit, Lewis asserts LSU denied her pay raises and verbally abused her after she came forward with allegations against Miles. She alleged that Miles told her there were “too many Black girls” working in athletics. She claims an employee working for Miles directed her to arrange interviews with female students during the evenings in Miles’s office. One female student accused Miles of “getting on top of her” on his office couch. LSU allegedly worked with a law firm to cover up these types of allegations against Miles, including allegations that he engaged in “explicit sex acts” with a student. Lewis claims a group of individuals formed an “enterprise” to protect the university from these kinds of complaints. Lewis alleges the group included current and former board members as well as senior athletic officials.

A recent independent investigation into LSU revealed the school mishandled allegations of sexual misconduct by student-athletes and Miles. According to the investigation, the sexism, dismissiveness, and inadequacies of the Title IX process discouraged individuals from reporting issues. LSU responded to Lewis’s lawsuit with a statement asserting their disappointment with her suit, noting she is a 20-year employee who received multiple promotions. They believe she is taking advantage of the situation for her personal benefit.