LSU football coach Ed Orgeron on Thursday said a quote attributed to him by a former player regarding allegations that running back Derrius Guice raped the former player's then-girlfriend in 2016 is not accurate.
On Wednesday, USA Today published a report in which two former students said they were raped by Guice when he was a freshman and that they shared their allegations with multiple people at LSU, including at least two coaches, an athletics administrator and a nurse.
According to the report, the former boyfriend of one of the women, who himself was on the football team, said Orgeron brought up his former girlfriend a year after the alleged assault occurred. The former player told USA Today, "[Orgeron] said, 'Everybody's girlfriend sleeps with other people.'"
In a statement, Orgeron said, "Any insinuation that I had knowledge of his girlfriend and Derrius Guice is completely false."
"The anonymous quote attributed to me by a former player in USA Today is not accurate," Orgeron said. "Out of respect for the young man's privacy, I will not reveal the full details of the conversation. What I will say is that a player came into my office to discuss transferring from our program. We also discussed the player's relationship challenges with his girlfriend. I told him what I would tell my own sons: 'We all experience heartbreak growing up. Do not throw away a promising academic and football career at LSU because of a personal obstacle.'"
Orgeron, who began the 2016 season as the defensive line coach and was named interim head coach after Les Miles was fired after four games, also said in the statement that assault allegations against Guice should be "taken very seriously and the alleged victims must be heard and supported."
"I will always stand up for what is right and without question, I have complied -- and I will continue to comply -- with all university Title IX protocols and procedures," Orgeron said.
Despite sharing their allegations with people at LSU, the women said the school failed to investigate and didn't interview them or potential witnesses.
"At no time were allegations of physical or sexual assault brought against Derrius during his years as a student-athlete at LSU," Guice's attorney, Peter D. Greenspun, said in his statement given to USA Today. "To bring up such assertions only after the Virginia charges were initiated certainly calls into question the credibility, nature and timing of what is being alleged years later."
Guice was released by the Washington Football Team on Aug. 7 after he was arrested on three separate domestic violence charges in Virginia.
"LSU and LSU Athletics take all accusations of sexual assault with the utmost seriousness," the school said in a statement to ESPN. "Formal complaints are promptly and fully investigated and the rights and privacy of students are protected as stipulated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Complainants are also strongly encouraged to report the offense to law enforcement and are provided information on health care, counseling and supportive measures available."
Guice, 23, is scheduled to be arraigned on the domestic violence charges on Aug. 28 in Loudoun County District Court.