Almost a decade ago, while still in college, I loudly criticized University of Tennessee’s bumbling then-athletic director Mike Hamilton. Hamilton, who replaced Doug Dickey as athletic director in 2003, is best known as the athletic director who fired Phil Fulmer and the one who hired Bruce Pearl as men’s basketball coach.
However, by the fall of 2010, Pearl, who was far and away the best hire Hamilton made in the three major sports, was busted by the NCAA for lying about a barbecue, forcing me to ask the question, why on Earth does Hamilton have a job still?
Seven years later, I ask this same question, this one being geared at the idiot that is Joe Alleva, alleged athletic director at Louisiana State University.
In the ten years since Alleva arrived in Baton Rouge, LSU athletics has been hampered by his leadership.
Don’t believe me? Peep this abridged timeline of events:
2008: Fires John Brady as basketball coach. Butch Pierre is named interim head coach and instead of guys like Darrin Horn, Keno Davis, Anthony Grant, and a few others, Alleva goes with Trent Johnson from Stanford. Johnson wins the SEC in 2009 and becomes first coach in LSU history to reach the NCAA tournament. The bottom falls out and he bounces to TCU in 2012.
2011: Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy is named LSU softball coach after Yvette Girouard retires. Three days later, Murphy changes his mind and returns to Tuscaloosa. Alleva then hires Beth Torina, who is easily the best hire he’s made as athletic director. Torina has reached the Women’s College World Series four times in six years while Murphy won the 2012 WCWS title at Alabama.
2012: Johnny Jones is named head coach despite the fact that Jones at North Texas reached the NCAA Tournament twice in 11 years. And while he did have five straight 20-win seasons at North Texas, coaches like Chris Mack, Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall, and even Metairie native Billy Kennedy would have been better options. But Alleva was influenced by the good ol’ boys at the Tiger Athletic Fund and Dale Brown.
2015: After LSU loses to Arkansas at home, reports surface that Les Miles was coaching for his job. Due in part to support from Governor Piyush Jindal and a halftime meeting during the Texas A&M game, Miles remains coach because Alleva has no fucking balls.
2016: After a loss to Auburn, Les Miles is fired along with Cam Cameron by Alleva. Alleva then hires the GOAT of interim head coaches in Ed Orergon, who promptly leads LSU to a 6-2 record and a bowl win over Louisville. Like a drunken college student on Bourbon, Alleva eschews an actual coaching search and hires Coach O for the permanent job.
Much like the University of Tennessee, football is the window to the world at LSU. And if you can’t get it right with a hire with your school’s flagship sport, something has to give.
Keeping Joe Alleva employed as athletic director would not only be detrimental to just the athletic department itself, but also LSU fans like myself.
It’s time, Joe.
It’s time for you to go be a family man and stop wrecking LSU athletics.