LSU AD Alleva to Transition Amid Controversy | Athletic Business

LSU AD Alleva to Transition Amid Controversy

LSU on Wednesday announced that vice chancellor and athletic director Joe Alleva will be transitioning to a new role at the school.

According to LSU’s website, Alleva will assume the role of special assistant to the president for donor relations, but many characterized the move as retirement for Alleva, who is 65 years old.

"The eleven years Annie and I have been here in Baton Rouge have been some of the best in our lives," Alleva said, according to the release. "We have made lifelong friends and memories in Louisiana. 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."

Alleva will continue to serve in his current position until a successor can be found.

The move comes after wealthy Baton Rouge business tycoon and LSU backer Richard Lipsey wrote an open letter in March that called for both Alleva and LSU president F. King Alexander to be removed. In his letter, Lipsey noted a number of scandals that have hit the university as reason for the proposed changes.

As pointed out, Alleva has seen his share of criticisms during his 11 years as athletic director. He received backlash for how he handled former football coach Les Miles' near-firing, the failed courtships of potential replacements Jimbo Fisher and Tom Herman and, most recently, of coach Will Wade's status leading the men's basketball program. Wade returned on Sunday from a suspension that kept him out of the regular-season finale, as well as the school’s NCAA tournament run to the Sweet 16. 

Under Alleva, LSU managed 18 total conference championships, 124 conference championships and 48 individual national championships in men's and women's track and field, gymnastics and men's and women's golf. The baseball program won a national championship back in 2009.

Financially, the school’s athletics department has done well under Alleva. According to The Advocate, LSU’s profit margin climbed to as high as $56.1 million during Alleva’s tenure, much of which came from the school’s profitable football program. LSU hit $145 million in total revenue in 2017-18, and in 2016-17, the school ranked No. 9 nationally with a total revenue of $147 million.

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