AuburnLSU.adv HS 1575.JPG

LSU head coach Les Miles looks to the video board while coaching against Auburn, Saturday, September 24, 2016 at Auburn University's Jordan-Hare Stadium, Pat Dye Field in Auburn, Al.

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long has denied that he knew about allegations of sexual harassment against former LSU coach Les Miles when Long hired Miles to be the Jayhawks head coach in 2018.

In a news conference Tuesday, Long told reporters that Kansas ran multiple background checks on Miles before he was hired, and Long said he directly asked Miles if there was anything in his background that could "embarrass" the university and that Miles told him no.

Kansas announced late Monday night that they've "mutually agreed to part ways" with Miles, a decision that came days after the school placed him on administrative leave after a report showed a pattern of "inappropriate behavior" with female students at LSU.

Long has since come under fire for his role in hiring Miles, a tenured coach whom Long said Tuesday he considered a friend. The two have known each other for decades, and, when Long was the athletic director at Arkansas, he expressed interest in luring Miles away from LSU during the 2012 season.

More details of the Kansas divorce emerged Tuesday. KU and Miles reached a settlement for about $2 million of the $8 million he had left on a contract that was set to expire after the 2023 season, according to the Kansas City Star.

Miles had just finished the second season of a five-year contract worth about $2.75 million per year that expired after the 2023 season. In the contract, Kansas could fire Miles for "just cause" and not pay out any remaining salary for "discreditable conduct that is inconsistent with the professional standards of a head coach of a collegiate sports team."

A reporter asked Long on Tuesday why Kansas was paying Miles at all if he'd lied about having something in his background, and Long answered saying it's "debatable" whether Miles lied.

The much-anticipated Husch Blackwell report into LSU's handling of sexual misconduct cases disclosed that Miles had been investigated by the LSU-hired Taylor Porter law firm in 2013.

The firm turned up emails that showed former LSU athletic director Joe Alleva felt Miles should be fired based upon that investigation. Former LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander also wrote in a letter Monday that he regrets not taking stronger action when faced with the allegations against Miles.

LSU sports news in your inbox

If you're a Tiger fan you won't want to miss this newsletter. Sign up today.

Miles had been accused of kissing a female student twice, "unwanted touching," telling her he was attracted to her and suggesting that they go to a hotel or to his condo together. Miles has repeatedly denied kissing the student or any other inappropriate behavior. Some of the other allegations in the Taylor Porter investigation remain secret; they are completely redacted.

Several LSU athletic department employees also told Taylor Porter that Miles insisted that LSU hire “attractive, blonde, fit” female students to work in recruiting. Miles was eventually forbidden from having one-on-one meetings or interactions with student employees.

But Alleva's recommendation to fire Miles — who was riding high at the time and had just received a new six-year contract — landed flat. The coach was terminated early in the 2016 season, not for misconduct but for disappointing results on the field.

This newspaper also reported that Miles had reached a secret settlement with a former LSU student who accused him of harassment about a decade ago.

On Tuesday, Long confirmed Kansas was aware of a court matter in Baton Rouge but the university was denied specifics until last week. Long said he'd asked Miles if there was anything to be concerned about, and Miles told him no.

Kansas spokesman Dan Beckler said in a statement last Thursday that KU had just received a copy of the Les Miles probe, and that Kansas officials "will wait to comment further" until after reviewing it more closely. Miles was placed on administrative leave the next day, then ousted on Monday.

When Kansas announced Miles' departure on Monday, Long said in a statement that KU will begin its search for a new head coach immediately, along with the assistance of an outside firm. 

Long told reporters Tuesday that he is "confident" that he can lead the search for the next Kansas football coach.

Email Brooks Kubena at bkubena@theadvocate.com.