Texas A&M's Scott Woodward Hired As LSU AD After Alleva's Dismissal
Texas A&M AD Scott Woodward agreed to take the same position at LSU "less than an hour" after the school officially announced Joe Alleva would be "transitioning out of the role," according to Brody Miller of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Woodward is an LSU alum and his family lives in Baton Rouge. Alleva, who has been at LSU since July '08 after leaving Duke, will transition into a new role as "special assistant to the president for donor relations" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/18). In Louisiana, Glenn Guilbeau notes Woodward was "letting the word out" that he would be LSU AD early yesterday, as the deal had "been in the works for several days." The end of Alleva's tenure was "nearing for several weeks" as prominent LSU donor and Tiger Athletic Foundation Founder Richard Lipsey and others close to LSU have been "working behind the scenes for a change." TexAgs.com first reported that Woodward was heading to LSU (Lafayette DAILY ADVERTISER, 4/18). In Baton Rouge, Scott Rabalais notes Woodward figured to be "one of LSU's prime targets, if not the No. 1 target." Most observers believed that an official search "would ensue ... but matters moved swiftly." This "looks like a final and ultimate career move" for Woodward. Rabalais: "The ties to home are the one thing Texas A&M's riches couldn't trump" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 4/18).
LEAVING A LEGACY: In Texas, Travis Brown notes Woodward’s three-year tenure at Texas A&M was "highlighted by high-profile hires in football and men’s basketball." He "lured Jimbo Fisher away from Florida State" in December '17 with a 10-year, $75M contract. This month, Woodward "pulled Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams to A&M in a six-year deal" that begins at $3.8M annually. Woodward also opened up the $28M Davis Diamond for softball last year and $35M E.B. Cushing Stadium for the track program this month (Bryan-College Station EAGLE, 4/18). In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes the fact Fisher and Williams were both lured to College Station "says a lot" about Woodward. Texas A&M needs a new AD, and while the replacement will have a "lot to work with, Scott Woodward is the standard" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/18). In Dallas, Ben Baby writes Woodward "never made a ton of noise at A&M," generally staying away from interviews and the spotlight. However, he "made up for any lack of a public persona by making big hires in the top revenue sports." The hires that made Woodward a "fan favorite in Aggieland show why it's hard to fault him for returning to LSU, a school he graduated from and worked at" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/18).
FINALLY TIME TO CUT TIES: In New Orleans, Amie Just notes Alleva has been an "unpopular figure in Baton Rouge for years." Sources said that there has been "bad blood between powerful LSU figures and Alleva" since the '15 attempt to "fire football coach Les Miles and replace him" with Fisher. Alleva’s role in the suspension of LSU basketball coach Will Wade only "exacerbated the loss of confidence." His contract was "set to run" through June '20. He is paid $525,000 a year in base salary, with "potential for another $300,000 in incentives." It is "not yet clear what his compensation package will be in the new role" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/18). Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel, whose publication broke the story of Alleva's ouster, said, "There was growing pressure both inside and outside of the university committee, and we saw the outside pressure. The posts on social media and the irate fandom and also the boosters who were displeased with many of his decisions, rightly or wrongly, going back several years. ... It finally just got to the point where it was time for him to go.” Fox' Tim Brando: "This is a byproduct of not just what’s going on with the basketball program but what’s happened over a period of time, the lack of due diligence on many, many fronts. ... There was enough there for changes to be made, even long before the Will Wade circumstances came up” ("The Paul Finebaum Show," ESPN Radio, 4/17). LSU during Alleva's tenure won 18 SEC titles across all sports (ESPN.com, 4/17).