Lawyers: LSU fired athletics official who sued department

Jan 26, 2022, 12:09 PM | Updated: 2:51 pm

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Lawyers for an associate athletic director who filed a $50 million federal racketeering lawsuit against Louisiana State University say she has been fired in retaliation and asked the court Wednesday to add that claim to her suit.

“On January 5, 2022, LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward terminated Sharon Lewis without cause in retaliation for her reporting Title IX violations against LSU Football players, Coaches and Athletic officials,” they wrote in a proposed revision.

Sharon Lewis claimed in state and federal lawsuits filed in 2021 that she was denied pay raises and was verbally abused after reporting that former football coach Les Miles had sexually harassed female student workers and made racist remarks.

“The wrongful termination of Sharon Lewis by LSU is a continuation of the retaliation she has endured for reporting violations” of the federal sex discrimination law known as Title IX and of state law, Lewis’ attorneys said in a statement released to reporters Tuesday.

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said he cannot comment about specific personnel actions, but the athletic department has had 40 “reassignments and departures” within the last month. Several high-profile employees connected to the football program have recently lost their jobs as new coach Brian Kelly assembles his staff.

Lewis, a former LSU track and field star, handled football recruiting and alumni relations for more than a decade.

A federal judge has rejected her racketeering claims, but other aspects of that suit and her state lawsuit are still in court, The Advocate reported.

Miles guided the 2007 LSU team to a national title and was fired in 2016. Miles and former university President F. King Alexander lost jobs in 2021 at Kansas and Oregon State, respectively, after LSU released a report it had commissioned about how officials had handled sexual misconduct cases.

That report noted Lewis’ allegations, her lawyers pointed out. They said her dismissal violates Louisiana’s whistleblower law and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines as well as Title IX.

Executive Deputy Athletic Director Verge Ausberry and Senior Associate Athletic Director Miriam Segar, who were suspended briefly, both remain on the department’s staff, the lawyers said.

“There can be no clearer statement of the values of Scott Woodward and LSU’s Board Of Supervisors,” they wrote.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

2 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

6 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

6 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

7 days ago

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump helps serve food to Texas Natio...

Associated Press

Trump receives endorsement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during a visit to a US-Mexico border town

Donald Trump picked up the Texas governor’s endorsement Sunday during a visit to a U.S.-Mexico border town.

8 days ago

Eric Trump, executive vice president of Trump Organization Inc., speaks to the media as he leaves f...

Associated Press

Lawyers in Trump’s civil fraud trial are ordered to clam up about judge’s communications with staff

Eric Trump testified Friday that he was relying on accountants to ensure the accuracy of financial statements.

25 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.

Lawyers: LSU fired athletics official who sued department