‘IT IS WHAT IT IS:’ Full LSU hush money phone call features Leonard Fournette name drop, ‘Nike’ comment. Audio with timestamps here
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In Louisiana State University Senior Associate Athletic Director Miriam Segar’s ears, Cleve Williams’ self-described attempts to “facilitate” a $100,000 payout from the school to a family friend who accused a star athlete of harassment sounded “like blackmail.”
She told him so four minutes into a 23-minute recorded phone call obtained by the 9NEWS Investigators through a public records request.
The tense phone call crescendoed.
By that point, Willams had already made two comparisons between the accused athlete, Derrius Guice, and former Tiger player Leonard Fournette based on the “value” and “interest” LSU had in preventing either player from being scandalized, the audio reveals.
“It’s not blackmail. It’s not,” argued Williams.
“What is it?” questioned Segar.
“It’s straightforward as you heard me. Don’t misquote me. Don’t misquote me. You heard me straightforward. You and whoever else is on the phone,” said Williams.
LSU Executive Deputy Athletic Director Verge Ausberry made his presence known.
“Cleave? This is Verge. What [are you] talking about with Leonard? Yeah, you’re an [Amateur Athletic Union] coach too, right Cleave? With Nike, right?” asked Ausberry.
“Uh-huh. We have a lot of friends that we know at Nike,” said Ausberry “But let me tell you this here though. What you talking about Leonard Fournette though?”
“I mean, how about this Verge, I apologize for bringing Leonard up,” responded Cleave. “Just to let you know, I was only making a [comparison] due to superstar status. But, I agree with you. Let’s focus on Derrius and Ms. Gloria. I totally agree with you, Verge.”
“Ms. Goria” is Gloria Scott, 74, who says Guice made crude sexual comments to her and grabbed his private parts at the Louisiana Superdome during an event in 2017.
Following that, she filed a student accountability complaint with LSU officials which would be uncovered during an independent investigation into the university’s handling of Title IX cases, and lead Scott to the Louisiana Capitol Building where she testified before a committee of the Louisiana legislature last month that LSU failed to take proper action against Guice.
Scott denied asking Williams to demand hush money from the university when the phone call, which took place in 2017, was made public Monday, April 5, just before Segar, Ausberry, and other LSU officials were scheduled for a Thursday hearing before the same committee Scott testified to.
In the end, LSU did not pay any money to Scott or Williams, and Scott’s request that LSU officials bench Guice from playing in the 2017 Citrus Bowl game was not honored.
“It is what it is,” both Seiger and Williams said at different points in the call when trying to reach a resolution.
Review the full audio of the call in the clip above. Timestamps are included below.
:45 - Miriam Segar clarifies the request for payment from LSU.
1:25 - First reference to the “value” of Guice and other Tiger players to the program.
1:45 - Miriam Segar says “monetary compensation” never came up in previous conversations with Gloria Scott.
2:35 - Miriam Segar asks Cleave Williams to provide a dollar amount in monetary compensation.
4:04 - Miriam Segar describes Williams’ request as blackmail
4:59 - Verge Ausberry request clarification on Leonard Fournette references
6:03 - Cleave Williams explains involvement in the situation
7:51 - Verge Ausberry asks who is expected to provide monetary compensation
9:35 - Miriam Segar says LSU will not provide the requested money
18:31 - Verge Ausberry asks about the witnesses who saw the alleged incident with Derrius Guice
20:58 - Verge Ausberry asks Williams for a “number.”
In addition to the recorded phone call, three voicemails related to the matter were obtained by WAFB-TV through a public records request filed with the university.
Scott left the voicemails for Segar in December 2017 after calling for an update. Listen to the voicemails in the video below.
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