Kansas athletic director Jeff Lengthy resigned Wednesday, lower than two days after the college mutually parted with Les Miles amid sexual misconduct allegations courting to the soccer coach’s time at LSU and sooner or later after Lengthy vowed he would lead the Jayhawks’ seek for a alternative.
Kurt Watson will function the interim athletic director as the college searches for each an AD and soccer coach.
“We are going to instantly start our seek for a brand new athletics director. I’ll lead the method with the help of a search agency and 4 alumni advisors, every of whom have expertise in collegiate athletics,” Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod stated in an announcement. “My hope is to have a brand new athletics director in place throughout the subsequent few weeks.”
Girod stated the brand new athletic director will take management of the soccer teaching search.
“I perceive time is of the essence and that our soccer student-athletes are wanting to know who might be guiding them,” he stated. “However we’re making long-term choices on an athletics director and a soccer coach, and we can not sacrifice the standard of a search merely for expediency. Whereas there might be a number of hypothesis relating to potential candidates for each searches, I urge Jayhawks to place confidence in the method and in those that are devoting their time to help.”
Lengthy’s dismissal got here a day after he vowed to guide the seek for Miles’ successor, a transfer that drew vital backlash from Kansas alumni. It was Lengthy who had employed Miles, his buddy of greater than 30 years, regardless of questions that finally led to his firing in shame Monday evening.
The transfer additionally comes because the Jayhawks’ storied males’s basketball program, which is awaiting the choice of an impartial arbitrator on what might be extreme NCAA sanctions for guidelines violations, prepares to open the Massive 12 Match on Thursday with the NCAA Match on faucet subsequent week.
“I depart KU with a heavy coronary heart and profound confidence that I’ve at all times acted in the perfect pursuits of Kansas Athletics,” Lengthy stated in an announcement Wednesday evening. “I’ve performed every thing in my management to maneuver Kansas Athletics ahead in a constructive method; that’s what makes this most troublesome.”
Lengthy was employed by Kansas to assist rebuild a soccer program mired firmly within the Massive 12 cellar. His cost was to discover a coach who might take the Jayhawks again to relevance whereas additionally persuading donors to open their checkbooks in help of upgrades to the follow facility and growing older Memorial Stadium.
As a substitute, his roughly three-year tenure was full of bumbling missteps.
After firing former soccer coach David Beaty, Lengthy knowledgeable him that it will be “for trigger” attributable to a comparatively minor NCAA investigation right into a non-coaching employees member and that his $3 million buyout could be withheld. A 15 month-long courtroom case adopted, embarrassing the college that wound up paying $500,000 in authorized charges earlier than finally agreeing with Beaty on a $2.55 million settlement.
Lengthy additionally was criticized in 2019 for bringing Snoop Dogg to Late Night time within the Phog, the annual kickoff to basketball follow. The rapper’s efficiency included 4 scantily dressed dancers doing routines on stripper poles and the firing of pretend $100 payments into the gang, an apparently flippant reference to the NCAA’s investigation into allegations that Kansas basketball coaches funneled cash by means of an Adidas rep to potential gamers.
“I take full duty for not understanding what acrobatic dancers are in at the moment’s leisure world,” Lengthy stated in response to the backlash, “and supply my private apology to anybody who was offended.”
However the greatest embarrassment for Lengthy, whose five-year deal paid him $1.5 million yearly, got here on the soccer area, the place the hiring of Miles resulted in simply three wins over two seasons and led to catastrophe.
After firing Beaty, Lengthy claimed to have forged a large web searching for a alternative, although he later admitted in a deposition that Kansas had employed a documentary movie crew to shoot Miles earlier than he had been employed.
Final week, LSU launched a pair of critiques performed by separate legislation companies into allegations Miles had made sexual advances towards two feminine members of this system whereas teaching the Tigers. Miles was positioned on administrative depart by Kansas, and the 2 sides agreed to a $2 million settlement to terminate the remaining years on his contract.
Lengthy stated a sequence of background checks befell earlier than the Jayhawks employed Miles in 2018, and that no person throughout the LSU athletic division raised any pink flags. Requested why he was unaware of the allegations in opposition to a buddy of his courting to their days at Michigan within the late Nineteen Eighties, Lengthy provided little clarification.
“We ran a number of background checks,” he stated. “I additionally requested Coach Miles immediately through the interview course of whether or not there was something in his previous that might doubtlessly embarrass the college, himself or this system and he stated, `No.”‘
“I believe a lot is performed about our friendship,” Lengthy added. “It’s a friendship that was actually not the explanation why we had been hiring him to be the top coach. He was a longtime head coach, he was an unbelievable recruiter.”
Kansas already was planning to rent a search agency to help to find a soccer coach, however Girod made it clear that he desires the following athletic director in place earlier than resuming the method. Meaning offensive coordinator Mike DeBord will proceed to function the performing coach heading into spring follow.
“I step down realizing that I did my perfect for the college,” Lengthy stated. “We made strides in lecturers, fundraising, amenities and variety and inclusion, amongst different areas, and I actually imagine the perfect days of Kansas athletics lie forward.”
Kansas AD Jeff Lengthy resigns after Les Miles debacle initially appeared on NBCSports.com