Kansas head football coach Les Miles has been placed on leave after the release of an investigative report of misconduct with female students conducted by LSU.
The report, which released Thursday, alleges that in 2013 Miles had inappropriate relationships with multiple female students, including texting and Facebook messaging, meeting up alone off LSU’s campus, and kissing at least one.
According to his lawyer, the accusations are unfounded.
According to ESPN, Les Miles claims “he didn’t do anything wrong and that he was mentoring young women at the university.“
It’s true. He might not have done anything wrong.
But it begs the question, Why would you ever put yourself in that position?
Male coaches: mentoring female students is NOT YOUR JOB.
If indeed his intention was merely to “mentor”, young women, alone, I can’t begin to understand what he was thinking.
Les Miles has been in this business a long time, long enough to see careers crushed by accusations, founded and unfounded. In today’s climate, every coach has been told at least once to never be in a room or car alone with a student, especially a female—not only in order to protect the student but also to protect themselves. Common sense says, don’t even put yourself in that situation.
Male coaches, if you’re not going to pay attention to your administrators or supervisors, listen to your wives. Protect your marriages. Protect your families. Protect the girls at your school. Put up safeguards to make sure this never happens to you.
The investigative report agrees. It states that even if a kiss never occurred, the fact remains that he was in a car alone with a female student employee and ” he has shown poor judgement in placing himself (and the student employee) in a situation in which the student employee might be uncomfortable and/or he can be subject to such complaint.”
When you find a female student in need of help or counsel, and you will at some point during your career, point her in the direction of a female teacher, coach, or counselor who can meet her needs in an appropriate way. Or even your wife, if that’s her jam. There is no such thing as being too careful.
But let’s be clear, these precautions are not just to protect you from false accusations or tarnishing your reputation. These are also set in place to protect you from making terrible decisions.
If you think you are too good of a guy to ever let that happen, you’re already cracking a door that needs to stay slammed shut. We are all human. Not one of us is above temptation. Don’t leave your actions in the hands of your own self-control. Set up boundaries so that you never have to use that strong will of yours in the first place.
You don’t need to depend on your self-control if you’re never there.
Instead, draw healthy, firm, protective boundaries. Around yourself, but also around your family.
Never be in a room alone with a female.
Never give a female student a ride home.
Only communicate outside of school through school-approved apps, and never one on one.
Have a plan when a young female student or athlete needs help. Who could be a good resource for her?
Not because you’re a bad guy but because you are a good one who stays above reproach. Because you love your wife, your kids, your athletes, your job, and your female students—and you would never want to put them in a compromising position because you put yourself in one.
I get it. So many of you have bleeding hearts and truly want to help every one you encounter. That’s why you do what you do.
But “mentoring young women” is not your job. Unless you want to lose yours.