Alleva steps down as LSU athletic director

Reuters

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva announced on Wednesday he is stepping down from that position after 11 years to take on a new role with the university.

Alleva has been the Tigers' AD since 2008 and will transition into a new position as special assistant to the president for donor relations, the school announced.

Multiple outlets immediately began reporting that the school was hiring Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward, an LSU graduate, to fill the vacancy.

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Woodward has made a couple of high-profile moves since joining the Aggies in January 2016, hiring Florida State's Jimbo Fisher as the football coach in December 2017 and hiring Virginia Tech's Buzz Williams as the men's basketball coach earlier this month.

Prior to joining Texas A&M, Woodward was the AD at Washington from 2008-15. He hired football coach Chris Petersen away from Boise State during his tenure with the Huskies.

The Times-Picayune reported Wednesday that Alleva "has been an unpopular figure in Baton Rouge for years," a situation that seemingly reached a boiling point with the suspension of recently reinstated basketball coach Will Wade.

Unrest with Alleva goes back to the end of the 2015 football season, when it took an uprising of support for coach Les Miles for him to retain his job as Alleva pursued Fisher as a replacement.

Miles was fired four games into the 2016 season with the Tigers at 2-2.

Wade was suspended in March just before the Southeastern Conference tournament after reports emerged of a wiretapped conversation between him and former Adidas consultant Christian Dawkins. Dawkins has been found guilty in federal court on bribery charges that connected him with payoffs to families of NCAA recruits.

Wade was reinstated Sunday after sitting out both the SEC and NCAA tournaments. The Tigers finished the regular season at 26-6 (16-2 SEC) and lost to Michigan State 80-63 in the Sweet 16.

"We are grateful to Joe for his years of service and dedication to LSU," said LSU President F. King Alexander. "Under his leadership, LSU Athletics has become even more nationally competitive and our student-athletes have reached new levels of academic achievement."

Alleva, previously the athletic director at Duke, said the 11 years spent at LSU with his wife, Annie, have been some of the best in their lives.

"We have made lifelong friends and memories in Louisiana," Alleva said in a statement. "This is truly a special place. It's been an honor to serve LSU, and I am proud to continue to do that in a new role."

--Field Level Media

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