LSU has made a big change in its athletic department.
The school announced Wednesday afternoon that athletic director Joe Alleva would step down from his position and transition into a new role in donor relations.
Not long after the Alleva news trickled out, it became apparent that LSU had already lined up his successor. That came to fruition on Thursday when the school announced the hire of Texas A&M’s Scott Woodward.
Woodward, an LSU graduate, hired former Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams as Texas A&M’s new men’s basketball coach weeks ago and famously hired Jimbo Fisher from Florida State to coach the Aggies’ football team after the 2017 season.
“Returning home to the LSU family to lead the department of athletics is incredibly humbling and exciting,” Woodward said. “The state university has been a part of my life for more than five decades, and I know – and I embrace – the high expectations of Tiger Nation. We will win championships and we will do it the right way, representing LSU with pride and dignity every step of the way.”
Woodward will be introduced on Tuesday.
Alleva hired Ed Orgeron and Will Wade
Alleva was the athletic director who fired longtime football coach Les Miles and replaced him with Ed Orgeron during the 2016 season. Miles’ firing came after LSU was reportedly close to hiring Fisher after the 2015 season.
More recently, Alleva suspended and reinstated basketball coach Will Wade amid the FBI’s probe into college basketball corruption.
Yahoo Sports revealed in March that a wiretap caught Wade discussing a “strong-ass offer” related to LSU guard Javonte Smart. Wade was suspended by the school the next day after he initially refused to meet with LSU administrators.
Wade was reinstated at LSU on Sunday after he met with LSU and NCAA officials. He was suspended for the SEC tournament and the NCAA tournament. LSU, a No. 3 seed, lost in the Sweet 16.
Alleva said in a statement after announcing Wade’s reinstatement that the coach had answered all questions and denied wrongdoing.
“Coach Wade's explanations and clarifications offered during the meeting, absent actual evidence of misconduct, satisfy his contractual obligation to LSU. Accordingly, I have recommended that Coach Wade's suspension be lifted and that he should be allowed to resume his coaching responsibilities. President (F. King) Alexander has accepted this recommendation."
Wade has been served a subpoena to appear at an upcoming college basketball corruption trial that starts Monday.
Tiger Athletic Foundation founder: Time for Alleva to go
The man who founded the fundraising arm of LSU’s athletic department told the Daily Advertiser that it was time for Alleva to leave the university entirely.
"It's time for Joe to retire," Richard Lipsey said. "He has done some good things at LSU, but he has made several missteps. He never talked to prominent supporters. He never thanked people. It's time to move on. I think most people that care for LSU would agree."
Lipsey wasn’t alone in those sentiments. A former LSU board member told the Advertiser that he had tried to take Alleva “out” years ago. In relation to Alleva’s departure, Stanley Jacobs told the paper that “I haven't felt this well in years."
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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