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Baton Rouge native, Scott Woodward, replacing Joe Alleva as LSU Athletics Director

7 months 5 days 21 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 April 17, 2019 10:58 AM April 17, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE – LSU formally announced Thursday morning that Scott Woodward would be replacing Joe Alleva as Athletics Director.

“We are happy to welcome a fellow Tiger back home,” LSU President F. King Alexander said. “Scott brings a strong track record of winning championships, graduating student-athletes and building an infrastructure for future achievement. His leadership will take us into a new era for Tiger Athletics.”

Woodward, who worked at LSU in the early 2000s, will officially be "welcomed back" Tuesday. He's been with Texas A&M University for four years.

“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. I want to thank President Alexander for the opportunity of a lifetime and I cannot wait to get started. Geaux Tigers!”

The university said Wednesday in a news release, Alleva was “transitioning” to a new role as special assistant to the president of donor relations.

The 686-word statement did not elaborate on what, exactly, Alleva will do in his new role or how much of his current salary – between $700,000 and $900,000 with bonuses – he will retain.

LSU’s statement came hours after media outlets reported on Alleva’s resignation. The Business Report in Baton Rouge first reported Alleva would be out of the position he’s held since 2008 by the end of Wednesday. Then, The Advocate reported board members used a secret meeting Tuesday a day before to iron out the details of Alleva’s departure.

WBRZ spoke with Woodward's parents Wednesday, who say they are very excited for his return to Louisiana. 

LSU highlighted Alleva’s successes in a news release Wednesday. 

“Under his leadership, LSU Athletics has become even more nationally competitive and our student-athletes have reached new levels of academic achievement,” LSU President F. King Alexander said.

Alleva released a prepared statement through LSU: “The eleven years [his wife, Annie] and I have been here in Baton Rouge have been some of the best in our lives,” Alleva said. “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 has been a staple of LSU athletics, serving as Athletics Director since July 2008.  Before joining LSU eleven years ago, he oversaw the athletics program at Duke University.

Alleva forced the resignation of then-lacrosse coach Mike Pressler whose collegiate athletes were accused – then exonerated – in a sexual assault investigation. The North Carolina Attorney General at the time said the team was the victim of a “tragic rush to accuse” and university officials later told a national news show, the decision to push out Pressler – spearheaded by Alleva – was wrong.

Alleva left Duke for LSU in 2008, two years after the case.

Alleva's rocky relationship with fans and donors has been lengthy.  Most recently, reaching a boiling point over how Alleva handled the temporary suspension of basketball coach Will Wade amid a recruiting wire-tapping scandal.  Earlier, some fans were bothered over an initial attempt to fire Les Miles in 2015 then following through in the middle of the next season. 

WBRZ uncovered through emails obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit Alleva mocked controversial decisions by the SEC over rescheduling games in an area expected to be impacted by a hurricane in 2016.

“This is a joke,” Alleva remarked in email chains over scheduling changes.

The Advocate reported in 2014 and then in 2015 of a series of contract extensions, locking Alleva to a deal with LSU until July 2020.

LSU tells WBRZ more details will be released regarding how Alleva's salary may or may not change with his new position - or how it will be funded. 

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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