LSU coach Ed Orgeron said in written statement submitted to a Louisiana state Senate committee on Tuesday that he considered former running back Derrius Guice‘s alleged sexual harassment of Gloria Scott in 2017 “utterly unacceptable” but denied ever speaking to Scott directly about the matter.
Orgeron’s statement contradicts some of what Scott told the committee on March 26 when she recalled how she was working as a security worker at the Superdome in New Orleans in December 2017 when Guice, then an LSU running back, approached her and told her in front of his friends that “I like having sex with older women like you” and “I want your body.”
Orgeron submitted his written statement following a request from the Louisiana Senate Select Committee on Women & Children to respond to the allegations made by Scott.
In a letter to Orgeron, Senator Regina Barrow, who chairs the committee, wrote, “As the leader of the LSU football team, it is critically important that your office take these matters into serious consideration and act accordingly to ensure the safety and well-being of the students of which it serves.”
The committee began its hearings in the wake of the Husch Blackwell report, which was released in March and detailed LSU’s handling of sexual assault allegations and Title IX-related incidents.
The committee’s goal is to provide policy recommendations to address sexual assault allegations at Louisiana colleges.
Scott, who said she was humiliated by Guice’s alleged comments, told lawmakers that Orgeron called her offering for Guice to apologize. Scott said Orgeron asked her to “please forgive [Guice] because he’s a troubled child.”
Scott said she told Orgeron and LSU officials that she wanted Guice to be suspended from playing in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2018. But Guice was allowed to play, and she said she never heard from Orgeron again.
In a statement, Orgeron said that he tried to call Scott to have Guice apologize but that a man answered the phone instead. Orgeron said the man would not put Scott on the phone unless he would commit to suspending Guice, which he said he could not do until he spoke to the university and obtained more information.
Orgeron wrote how he “roughly remembers hearing” that the same man who claimed to be representing Scott had demanded monetary compensation from LSU, and that the “allegations were validated with multiple audio recordings and electronic correspondence.”
ESPN obtained copies of the correspondence between the man claiming to represent Scott, an AAU coach named Cleavon Williams, and LSU administrators.
In the recordings, Williams says that Scott wants Guice to be suspended or for the school to pay to keep the story quiet. Williams asks LSU administrators Miriam Segar and Verge Ausberry, “What’s the value of Derrius Guice playing in the Citrus Bowl?”
But there is no evidence that Scott herself demanded money from LSU.
Rather, in a text message, Williams writes that he spoke to Scott’s grandson and they decided on $100,000 in compensation for “public embarrassment and sexual harassment.”
When contacted by ESPN on Monday, Scott repeatedly denied ever asking for money.
She said she asked Orgeron, Segar and Ausberry only for Guice to be suspended as punishment for “making a mockery of me.”
“I wasn’t looking for nothing but that,” she said.
Orgeron, who wrote to the Senate Select Committee on Women & Children rather than appearing in person, said that whether or not he spoke to Scott directly “does not change the fact that what happened to Ms. Scott in 2017 is unequivocally wrong.”
“As a leader, and as a father, son, and grandson, I want to emphasize that it is heartbreaking Ms. Scott was subjected to such crude remarks by Mr. Guice, and she should be respected for her bravery and resolve to provide her statements to the Committee,” Orgeron wrote. “She, along with this Committee, has my word that I will continue to be vigilant in ensuring that the LSU football program maintains a culture of integrity and compliance.”