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No Surprise: Alleva Got A Raise From LSU To Rebuff UT

There’s a danger in talking to someone about a job opening — You never know for sure if the candidate is really interested or if they’re just angling for a raise from their current employer.

In the case of Joe Alleva, it appears he was angling for a raise.

Despite Twitter reports yesterday afternoon that a deal was done between LSU’s athletic director and Tennessee officials, the Tigers still have their top boss in Baton Rouge today.  And Alleva is going to be getting a raise out of the deal.

“It was brought to my attention that the University of Tennessee was interested in Joe becoming their athletic director,” LSU chancellor Michael Martin said last night.  “In concert with the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, we determined it was in the best interests of the university to make him a sufficiently fair offer and opportunity to remain at LSU.”

Alleva currently makes about $500,000 per year.

“Baton Rouge is my home and I want to be a part of the community for a long time to come,” Alleva said in an LSU press release.  “Tennessee is a wonderful place.  But in the end I felt that Chancellor Martin has a great vision for LSU.”

“I think it’s the right outcome,” Martin told The Baton Rouge Advocate.  “We’ve done well under Joe’s leadership.  If you stand back and take a look at the program from a multiple year, multiple sport perspective, we’ve done as well as anyone could expect us to do.  Joe deserves a lot of credit for that.”

Meanwhile, Tennessee officials have to get back into search mode.  It was widely believed that Georgia Tech’s Dan Radakovich was the Vols’ top choice until the NCAA called out his athletic program two weeks ago.  Now UT has been spurned publicly by an AD inside its own conference.

As The Knoxville News Sentinel points out today, Tennessee’s search “has largely been tight-lipped” and “that is expected to continue as the process resumes.”  Alleva’s name was a last-minute surprise to many in Knoxville yesterday.

While no one knows if Alleva was indeed offered the UT job — it sure sounds like — LSU’s chancellor said: “My sense from a variety of sources was that they were very serious.”

As a result, Martin offered up more cash.  “I didn’t want him to go back to them and say, ‘This is what (LSU) offered.’  This was the deal, a fair and reasonable package that reflected Joe’s value to the program and the market we’re in.”

Unfortunately for Tennessee officials, it seems Alleva did go back to LSU and say, “This is what UT offered.”


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