Emails show LSU thought handling of game against Florida was 'a joke'

Graham Watson
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva was unhappy with the handling of the game against Florida.
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva (right) was unhappy with the handling of the game against Florida. (AP)

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva, Board of Supervisors athletic committee chairman Blake Chatelain and team spokesman Michael Bonnette were among school officials upset with the way the SEC handled the LSU-Florida game during Hurricane Matthew.

In a series of emails obtained by WRBZ-TV, Alleva and Bonnette called the situation “a joke” in the wake of Georgia-South Carolina being rescheduled for Oct. 9 and the LSU-Florida game being postponed indefinitely. Both games were supposed to be played on Oct. 8, but were forced to reschedule because of the impending weather.

As early as Oct. 4, when it became evident Hurricane Matthew was going to alter the game schedule, Alleva offered several options to play the contest, including playing at a neutral site. But Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley declined all requests and was sure the game would be played in Gainesville on Saturday.

During the email chain from Oct. 6, which was when the official postponments started to become public, Chatelain asked Alleva whether he thought Florida wanted to play the game as much as LSU did?

“No way,” Alleva replied. “If (Florida) lost they would lose the (SEC) east. Their schedule is easier than Tennessee (sic) if they wanted to play we’d be playing here (Baton Rouge) or there (Gainesville).”

Florida wanted LSU to travel to Gainesville on Nov. 19, but Alleva refused because the Tigers already were scheduled to play South Alabama at home. Alleva said he didn’t want to lose a home game and didn’t want to play three SEC road games in a 13-day window. So, Florida decided to travel to Baton Rouge in exchange for playing at Florida in 2017 and 2018.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!