Alleva steps down as LSU's athletic director; will transition into new role at LSU

Joe Alleva | Photo Source: LSU Athletics / MGN
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) -- LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva has resigned his current position and is transitioning to a new role as special assistant to the president for donor relations, LSU confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

Alleva was widely criticized for his handling of the recent situation involving LSU Head Basketball Coach Will Wade.

WAFB Reporter Kiran Chawla quoted a source as saying the decision to part ways with Alleva was reached during an executive session of the LSU Board of Supervisors Tuesday night.
The Baton Rouge Business Report was first to break the news in an online report Wednesday morning.

Alleva suspended Wade last month, saying the coach refused to provide LSU with details about Wade’s alleged involvement in illegal college basketball recruiting. Published reports say Wade was caught on an FBI wiretap talking about an offer to then-recruit Javonte Smart.

Wade was reinstated this past week, 37 days after being suspended, after LSU says he answered all of the university’s questions and “denied any wrongdoing.”

His suspension caused Wade to miss all of LSU’s games in the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

The Times-Picayune newspaper reported Wednesday sources close to the situation “say there has been bad blood between powerful LSU figures and Alleva since the 2015 attempt to fire football coach Les Miles and replace him with now-Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher.”

Alleva had been in the position since 2008. He was formerly the athletics director at Duke University.

According to his online university biography, Alleva’s tenure at LSU was distinguished by a number of significant achievements, including four 10-win seasons and 86 total victories by the football team. The Tigers played in a bowl game in each of his nine gridiron seasons, and LSU finished in the Top 20 seven times in that period. LSU under Alleva's leadership claimed the 2009 baseball national championship and four College World Series berths, the 2015 men's golf national championship, two women's basketball Sweet 16 appearances, five gymnastics Super Six berths, four softball College World Series appearances and 18 NCAA Top 5 finishes indoors and outdoors by the men's and women's track and field teams, according to his LSU bio.

Alleva, who earned his bachelor's degree in finance from Lehigh in 1975, was the quarterback of the football team and team captain in 1974. He also played on the baseball team and served as a graduate assistant football coach, earning an MBA in 1976.

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