By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
As a younger LSU fan, I can definitively say this is the first time the Louisiana State University football program has been steeped in a high profile sexual assault scandal during my lifetime.....and this one may lead all the way to the top of LSU athletics..
Outside of Cecil Collins, there wasn't a former Tiger we could think of who was even accused of rape, let alone convicted, suspended etc.....at least that we heard of.
For all we were told, Rape didn't happen at LSU...sexual assault was something that happened at Ohio State, Miami, Florida State....we felt like we were morally above other schools, like this didn't occur here because we didn't hear about it.
I was dead wrong.
Now we have more names, doubts and evidence pointing to the contrary...not only due to the reporting of USA Today:
LSU Odyssey has done its own digging and while I've found a few inconsistencies in USA Today's reporting, I've found evidence that corroborates, supports and even compliments the testimonies of these women. I've talked to a few more verified victims as well and without a doubt, a pattern has been established.
We're continuing to hear LSU swept sexual assault allegations under the rug, protected regular students as well as athletes from the consequences, capped off by potentially covering up rape accusations.
LSU officially responded to the USA Today story in a statement saying:
“We are unwavering in our commitment to respond promptly to any reports of misconduct, to investigate these reports in a manner that is fair and equitable, to support victims of sexual assault, and to protect the privacy of our students according to the law,” the statement said. “Putting an end to sexual assault is an institutional priority, and we are constantly working to achieve that goal.”
That sounds all well and good, but you've got a big mess when you look at the details:
Here's a brief overview:
USA Today as well as LSU themselves have named 7 players and students from Derrius Guice, Drake Davis, Ray Parker and Peter Parrish all named as violators of Title IX, their crimes ranging from domestic violence, rape or both.
2019 safety Grant Delpit has been named as well in a sex tape accusation we'll detail below, then there's unheard accusations against the Thorpe Award-winner's LSU and current Cleveland Browns' teammate Jacob Phillips, made increasingly ominous by the existence of a sealed file.
In the wake of those alleged criminal acts, as many as 12 athletic department personnel knew of these allegations, 10 of which LSU would not make available for questions. Things grew even shadier when investigations began:
Executive Deputy Athletic Director (and LSU Legend) Verge Ausberry's missing confessional texts from WR Drake Davis are a big red flag, the inaction of the women's tennis coaches throughout both the Guice and Davis cases violated state and federal laws too, the redacted chunks of files.....I was also stunned how many women at the top of LSU athletics have been identified as those allegedly most active in impeding Title IX investigations.
One of the nicest men you'll ever meet, Ausberry himself admitted to the Advocate, that he "called Davis back immediately after receiving the confessional text", which call logs support and at that time Davis retracted the confession.
Ausberry continued: "When he told me on the phone he didn't hit her, that's the information I had at the time. That's why I made the decision I made at that time. Hindsight is 20/20, what's gone on in today's world, yes I would've picked up the phone and called 911 and figured it out."
WR Drake Davis strangled and punched his girlfriend repeatedly, disturbing domestic violence which ultimately led to his dismissal, some 4 months after his criminal conviction and 10 months after he'd left Baton Rouge.
After reviewing the evidence, we back USA Today's findings regarding Davis.
At least 9 LSU officials (USA Today said "7") were fully aware of Davis' violence towards his girlfriend and yet did nothing for a 10 month period (just like Guice's victim, Davis' girlfriend was also on the women's tennis team at LSU).
"Drake knew he got away with it...it almost made him feel even more invincible, he must've felt untouchable, I guess," we were told by yet another verified victim of Drake, a sports management student in 2018, also the time of the assault she suffered from the former receiver.
During the interim when these 7 officials "sat on this information", Davis strangled and attacked his girlfriend on three more occasions, including incidents in which he was arrested.
Although this victim shared her full experiences with us, she would not consent to the full publication (only the above quote) and I'll be honoring her request. Her experiences were verified by text messages, phone calls and four separate voicemails she shared between herself and Davis.
I have also been speaking with two other victims who never spoke to USA Today, one assaulted by a football player and the other a non-athlete on campus: one woman reported assault allegations to campus police and other authorities who failed to make official reports to LSU's Title IX office, the other is still debating whether to share her story.
There's parallels and continuous patterns here which back up the victims' accounts within the USA Today story...but there are some exaggerations outside of the victims' accounts which I'll outline as I go through:
Another allegation involves Thorpe Award-winning safety Grant Delpit sharing a sex tape of himself and a woman with whomever he felt like. As for Grant's side of things, Delpit has denied these allegations, yet the footage he shared still exists and we are told one of the students (who continued to share the video) confessed his actions to both LSU and Title IX investigators.
On September 10th, Coach Orgeron kicked Ray Parker off the team once he was arrested on felony property damage and battery charges, a fact which was erroneously misreported by USA Today who claimed LSU weren't forthcoming over the Parker discipline, writing LSU "wouldn't comment on whether Parker had been suspended";
We haven't found evidence as to whether LSU's athletic department had prior knowledge of Parker's abusive actions before the instance which caused his arrest (and subsequent dismissal), although I can't really ascertain why they would choose to conceal his despicable violence against women...from our perspective, until we can find evidence that LSU officials were aware of Parker's violent behavior prior to his felony arrests in September 2020, then LSU did everything above board for the victim of Ray Parker.
In addition to the Parker allegations, there's also a sealed file on current Browns' LB Jacob Phillips, the findings completely unknown to the public at this time.
Around early Spring 2020, backup quarterback Peter Parrish was sent packing by LSU once they learned of his own Title IX investigation: Parrish was accused of raping a woman inside a vehicle parked outside of a bar.
Assistant Head / WRs Coach Mickey Joseph informed Parrish of the university's decision and the QB transferred to Memphis only a month or two later.
This goes without mentioning Derrius Guice's allegations and ongoing legal battles; the LSU reports on Guice were filed and date back to 2016....
Samantha Brennan, one of the women Derrius Guice non-consensually photographed, went to retrieve her police report about the Guice case and was met by a stonewall from LSU, saying she'd have to "wait past the statute of limitations"... preventing her from ever seeing the report for her own records or using it to press charges against Derrius Guice....if Brennan's account is true, LSU denied and stalled her legal rights to hold Guice accountable.
And she wasn't the only victim to be denied access to records...this is now an ongoing saga in which many victims & reporters (including myself) were blocked from viewing police reports until certain aspects were redacted or other preparations for concealment were made.
USA Today had to sue LSU to get access to public records....
Is the school I love hiding & ducking from bringing rapists to justice?
LSU even recently censored Derrius Guice's name in a recent police report, after earlier blocking the release of 3 police reports involving unnamed accused football players, citing "future prosecution" as a reason.
While it's quite obvious USA Today maintains there's a culture of violence against women under Coach Ed Orgeron, we must say hold your horses there.
First of all, Derrius Guice was under Les Miles' coaching tenure, second I'm wondering why USA Today chose not to include the Ed Ingram case of 2018, the same year as Drake Davis' and a case handled mostly by Coach Ed Orgeron....did the results not fit their narrative?
In 2018, offensive guard Ed Ingram was suspended for an entire season once Coach Ed Orgeron learned of sexual assault allegations towards the lineman, and without hesitation, Coach Orgeron suspended Ingram indefinitely.
Ingram was charged with two counts of felony aggravated sexual assault in his home state of Texas...however, these charges were later dismissed, Ingram's name was cleared and by the game vs his home-state Longhorns in 2019, the highly talented guard was back on the team and has remained trouble-free.
Contrary to the easy USA Today takeaways, Ed Ingram's story is evidence of Coach Ed Orgeron believing female accusers over his own footballing interests: Without Ingram, LSU's offensive line nearly killed Joe Burrow in 2018.
If this is all about protecting football players, wouldn't Orgeron have moved heaven and earth to keep Ed Ingram on the field? Especially if an LSU Legend like Verge Ausberry was willing to put his career on the line for a punk like Drake Davis?
Coach Orgeron did what was right then, why wouldn't he throughout any of these other situations?
That's why I wonder if USA Today is missing something big here...
So...why would LSU defend WR Drake Davis?
Where's the motive?
The article seems to allege LSU protects its players from rape allegations in order to keep their star players on the field, however Drake Davis was never going to be Justin Jefferson or Ja'Marr Chase, why would LSU's athletic department put everything on the line for a proven abuser of women?
Although he came out of IMG at 6'4 195, Davis was never a hard worker and neither was he as highly prized by the Tigers to the degree which USA Today claims.
Were they protective?
Or were they just lazy in reporting these incidents through the proper channels?
If so, it could be criminal laziness.
Were the actions of LSU's athletic department negligent or a straight up cover up?
It's definitely gone beyond the point of suspicion...
As for WRs Coach Mickey Joseph attending Davis' Title IX hearing, Joseph's loyalty to a young man he recruited shouldn't be confused for allegiance with a rapist. Davis was allowed to bring someone to the meeting for support and he chose Mickey Joseph, a man who saved his students at Desire Street Academy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina....he doesn't leave people behind, no matter what....
Still, a serious investigation must be undertaken due to the unknown nature of the who and why regarding some of these allegations, as well as the athletic department's motivations in withholding documents.
Why would LSU's athletic department cover for Jacob Phillips to the point of sealing records and not do the same for Ray Parker, who's domestic violence crimes were made public throughout the LSU media nexus???
I'll tell you why: Parker never even achieved an on-field statistic for the Tigers and it's unknown whether he ever played a snap in 2019...whereas Jacob Phillips became LSU's leading tackler in a season where we needed him the most.
That's exactly why there must be an intense investigation....there's too many moving parts, too many things going on at the same time and too many people who's careers are at stake in Baton Rouge, correspondingly there are those in the media or otherwise with grudges and agendas against LSU, too.
Despite a couple misleading parts of USA Today's reporting, LSU ODYSSEY BELIEVES THE TESTIMONIES OF THESE WOMEN and will continue to investigate this story from every possible angle as we look to uncover more of the truth.
Sexual assault is not LSU...this is not what the university I love stands for...remaining silent while a woman is raped or abused?
We know there is such increasing pressure on LSU President Tom Galligan from the student body and national entities that he's currently trying to bandaid the process by forcing resignations of at least two personnel (mentioned by USA Today).
Also, a mass campus protest is being planned for Friday...this isn't going away....in fact, this is just the beginning of what will be a painful investigation.
If the allegations are proven true, every single one of those staff members didn't just betray the purple and gold, they let down every female who walks on campus.
This is about protecting the victims and investigating the accused....
This is about the silence of so many in positions of power...
...and sooner or later, we will all get to the truth.
IF YOU KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THIS CASE (WHICH YOU CAN VERIFY & PROVE) SEND US A DM
BLACK LIVES MATTER
By Lonn Phillips Sullivan
Copyright 2020 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: Blake Ruffino, love is real broseph. Happy Birthday Obie Wing!