BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU's head football coach Ed Orgeron has received a request to testify before a State Senate Select Committee on Women and Children next week as part of a probe into how the university handled sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual assault cases in recent years.
According to NOLA.com, the Tigers' coach had not replied as of early Thursday afternoon. The hearing is scheduled for next Thursday and the group says Orgeron can reply as late as Tuesday.
A 74-year-old woman told state lawmakers Friday that she spoke directly to Orgeron about sexual harassment she said she endured in 2017 from Derrius Guice, one of his star players, adding he did nothing to reprimand the running back.
Gloria Scott, a security worker at the Superdome in New Orleans, said then-LSU player Derrius Guice walked up to her with his friends at an event and told her: “I like having sex with older women like you" and “I want your body,” among other vulgarities while rubbing his body.
Scott's testimony raised questions about whether Orgeron lied to investigators who probed the incident as part of a sweeping investigation into LSU's failure to handle sexual misconduct reports. State lawmakers demanded Orgeron appear at a subsequent hearing.
The Senate Select Committee on Women and Children — a bipartisan coalition of female lawmakers — has now set its date for its third such hearing yet, and State Sen. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, who leads the committee, said they sent Orgeron a formal invitation on Wednesday.
Barrow said Orgeron has not yet responded, and the formal request said the head coach has until Tuesday to reply. It is not common for sitting LSU officials to refuse lawmakers' invitations to testify. The state Legislature oversees and votes on budget issues that impact higher education.
“I have never felt so embarrassed,” Scott, who is a grandmother, told lawmakers during an appearance in which she broke down at times in tears.
Scott said she called LSU about the player and eventually received a return phone call from Orgeron, who she said offered to put Guice on the phone to apologize. Scott said Orgeron asked her to “please forgive (Guice) because he’s a troubled child.”
Scott said she refused to speak to the player and urged Orgeron and other LSU athletic officials to keep Guice out of an upcoming bowl game as discipline — a request that wasn't fulfilled. After the call, Scott said she never heard from Orgeron again.
The football coach denies ever speaking with Scott.
LSU hired law firm Husch Blackwell to review its handling of complaints under federal Title IX laws after reporting by USA Today scrutinized the school’s handling of sexual assault allegations involving Guice and another former football player.
Orgeron told Husch Blackwell in an interview that he didn't speak with Scott, but was told about the harassment allegations. Athletic department spokesperson Michael Bonnette repeated that denial in a statement Friday.