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By: Scott Woodward
Dear LSU Athletics Community:
Today, Husch Blackwell, the law firm retained by LSU to conduct a comprehensive review of the University's handling of past sexual and domestic assault cases—including those involving student athletes — released a detailed report of its findings.
I encourage you to read the report in its entirety (PDF), as its findings are an important step in the journey and commitment by LSU to create a safer community for all who call LSU home. You have my unwavering commitment that our department must, and we will, do better.
As just one part of a greater institution, it is important that we, as an athletics department, work with the University to move forward to make our campus safe for everyone. I want you to know that we fully support the recommendations suggested by Husch Blackwell and the steps taken by President Galligan to address the shortcomings of the past and to invest resources into strengthening University structures. Working in lockstep with the University, we will continue to seek ways to ensure that all incidents involving athletics are reported, survivors supported, and perpetrators held accountable for their actions.
Throughout this challenging year, LSU Athletics has spent significant time evaluating the priorities of our athletics program. As part of our examination, we recognized that we needed a stronger commitment to staff, coach, and student athlete training and education; a renewed emphasis on fostering a healthy, respectful climate; improved accountability across the board; and increased collaboration with our campus and our community partners. Those priorities have resulted in an investment in staff, resources and comprehensive education.
With our commitment to doing better, our action has already begun:
We believe these actions, as well as today's release of the Husch Blackwell report, are initial steps in the right direction as we transform our thinking from compliance to culture change. The work to combat sexual and domestic violence, to improve reporting and education, to further support survivors, and to earn the trust of all in the LSU community is never-ending. I expect all of our staff, coaches, and student athletes to engage with this work, and I will accept nothing less.
Our commitment to change will be more than a statement. It will be backed by action, with input from survivors, advocates, and the community. We have and we will continue to dedicate ourselves to that work, as we seek to become a model department in these life-changing areas.
Director of Athletics