FIRE ON THE BAYOU
In the aftermath of the suspension of LSU head basketball coach Will Wade right before the SEC tournament, Joe Alleva, who served as athletic director for the Tigers for the past eleven years, will step down from the AD job at LSU to take up a position as ‘special assistant’ to LSU’s president F. King Alexander going forward.
Alleva has been under fire for quite some time in Baton Rouge over various issues including the firing, in mid season, of head LSU football coach Les Miles in 2016 which, at the time, was an unpopular move for many Tiger fans. Alleva was loudly booed at the first basketball game after Will Wades suspension.
Now the powers that be at LSU have decided to reinstate Will Wade as basketball coach and let Joe Alleva move on. The decision to return Will Wade came two days after the long awaited meeting between Wade and LSU officials which was also attended by NCAA officials. The successful second year basketball coach denied any wrong doing and apparently answered all questions satisfactorily.
The Tiger basketball team, which was eliminated in the third round of the NCAA finals this year by Michigan State, remains in a state of flux as most of the LSU players from last year have now announced themselves available for the upcoming NBA draft. They have until the end of May to withdraw that availability and return to LSU for next season, which would make LSU fans very happy indeed.
It is speculated that the reason that so many of them declared for the NBA was because of the instability of the coaching situation at LSU. With the return of Will Wade, hopes are high that most of last year’s young team will be back on the court for the 2019-2020 season. Who knows how far the Tigers could have gone in ‘March Madness’ had Wade been allowed to be with them there at courtside.
It is still not clear weather Wade violated NCAA rules or not in the disclosed FBI wiretap. On the advice of his former lawyer, Wade refused to meet with LSU officials at time of the incident, which ultimately led to his suspension.
Will Wade along with Arizona coach Sean Miller have been subpoenaed to appear in federal court in late April to testify about other college basketball irregularities in New York, although neither has been formally charged with any wrong doing.
Somehow we have made the transition from shady basketball recruiting practices being a NCAA problem to now having become the basis for criminal violations involving the FBI. It seems like those folks would have more important things to do.