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LSU head coach Ed Orgeron shakes hands with LSU President F. King Alexander, left, as the LSU team comes down Victory Hill before LSU's football game against Mississippi State in Tiger Stadium Saturday Oct. 20, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La.

Former LSU football coach Ed Orgeron and 13 others have been dropped from a high-profile lawsuit that accuses LSU officials of ignoring cases of gender discrimination and sexual misconduct on campus.

Ten current and former LSU students are plaintiffs in the April 2021 lawsuit against the university. But while the lawsuit previously named 19 defendants connected to the school, the plaintiffs’ attorneys whittled that list down to five in an amended complaint Monday.

The remaining defendants are the LSU Board of Supervisors, Executive Deputy Athletic Director Verge Ausberry, Senior Associate Athletic Director Miriam Segar, former Title IX coordinator Jennie Stewart and LSU’s Associate Dean of Students Jonathan Sanders.

The plaintiffs, all women, have also nixed their allegations that LSU violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, the federal law often used to take down organized crime syndicates. They still accuse LSU of various violations of federal laws that ban gender discrimination.

“After careful consideration and review, we narrowly tailored our complaint,” said Karen Truszkowski, the plaintiffs’ attorney.

An LSU spokesman did not respond to a message Tuesday.

The amended lawsuit comes weeks after U.S. District Judge Wendy Vitter ordered that the plaintiffs address the defendants' arguments that the racketeering claims had passed the deadline to be tried in court and that some state employees had immunity under the 11th Amendment.

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The suit alleges that LSU officials created a hostile environment for women on campus and that they retaliated against those who complained about sexual misconduct. The students also charge that they were denied equal legal protections and due process.

“LSU and LSU’s Athletics Department funded and implemented a purposefully deficient sexual misconduct and Title IX reporting scheme separate and apart from LSU’s official Title IX Office to keep legitimate sexual assault claims within the Athletics Department,” the lawsuit states.

Orgeron and his company, "O" The Rosy Finch Boyz LLC, were no longer included in the amended complaint filed Monday. Neither were the The Tiger Athletic Foundation, nor former LSU President F. King Alexander and former Athletic Director Joe Alleva.

Others dropped from the lawsuit include LSU women's tennis coaches Julia and Michael Sell, and Associate Athletic Director Sharon Lewis. Lewis is the plaintiff in a separate retaliation lawsuit against LSU. 

The lawsuit still takes issue with Orgeron’s alleged misconduct, even though it no longer names him as a defendant. Orgeron and LSU parted ways at the end of the 2021 football season after a 6-6 season.

The plaintiffs claim Orgeron was dismissive, for example, when an LSU football recruit told him that star running back Derrius Guice had raped that recruit’s girlfriend. Orgeron has denied those allegations, and an attorney for Guice has said that he did not commit misconduct at LSU.

The women suing LSU say that they have suffered pain, emotional distress, medical expenses, loss of educational opportunities and more. They are requesting damages in “an amount to be determined at trial” and a permanent injunction requiring LSU to follow the federal law against gender discrimination at educational institutions, Title IX.

Investigative reporting is more essential than ever, which is why we’ve established the Louisiana Investigative Journalism Fund, a non-profit supported by our readers.

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