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WOW Headlines – 5/27/13

The SEC spring meetings get under way this week in Destin, Florida…
Permanent cross-division rivals and a nine-game football schedule are expected to be hot topics
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva on dumping permanent rivals: “I think there’s a chance but I wouldn’t put very good odds on it.”
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner of Steve Spurrier’s popularity with Gamecock fans: “He didn’t have to come here and his intentions are to remain here.”
Former Memphis point guard Antonio Barton will transfer to Tennessee and be eligible to play immediately
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WOW Headlines – 5/23/13

Georgia TE Ty Flourney-Smith will likely transfer to a junior college with a return to Athens a possibility
Alabama coach Nick Saban: “We don’t think football’s a dangerous game, so we don’t worry about guys getting injured.”
CBS has announced that its first SEC Game of the Week in 2013 will be Alabama’s visit to Texas A&M on September 14th
ESPN has announced that radio host Paul Finebaum will start a new radio show that will be simulcast on the SEC Network
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva says that Texas A&M will likely replace Arkansas as the Tigers’ end-of-season opponent beginning in 2014
LSU G Corban Collins will transfer from the Tigers’ basketball team
Florida C Will Yeguette had arthroscopic knee surgery yesterday
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WOW Headlines – 5/20/13

Top 2014 Georgia RB commitment Sony Michel says he will focus on football before trying to enter the music business as a rap artist…
This after a Michigan State commitment had his scholarship offer yanked after he posted a controversial rap video online
Auburn coaches say they were pleased with the emergence of WR Jaylon Denson this spring
Georgia coaches won’t say that sophomore OT John Theus has locked down a starting spot, suggesting they want to see more from him in fall practice
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva says an expansion project at Tiger Stadium will not change the character of the stadium but “restore it”
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott made more salary in 2011 than SEC commissioner Mike Slive or Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany
Plans for an ACC television network appear to have hit a snag over media rights which could re-open conference expansion and realignment issues
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Tyrann Mathieu On Drug Test Story: “It Is Irresponsible…”

tyrann-mathieu.p1“I quit counting at 10. I really don’t know.” That’s a quote attributed to Tyrann Mathieu in a USA Today column that was allegedly in reply to a question about the number of drug tests he failed at LSU before receiving a suspension.  

As you might imagine, that’s caused quote a stir today.  Enough so that LSU felt compelled to issue statements from both Mathieu and school A.D. Joe Alleva.

Mathieu, who received a one-game suspension from LSU in 2011, and was booted from the team in August of 2012, says LSU went to great lengths to help him.


“It is irresponsible and shows a lack of integrity for anyone to disclose medical information regardless of how it was gathered,” Mathieu said.   “I would expect that conversations regarding my drug testing history during the course of my medical treatment would be private.  LSU has a strong drug testing program and LSU went to great lengths to help me in my treatment and recovery.  I understand that many people enjoy reading about the negative side of sports, but to publish those second-hand comments without being given a chance to address that comment prior to the publication of the article is irresponsible.”


A coach was quoted anonymously in the USA Today story regarding Mathieu saying, If he flunked 10 tests before they suspended him, it shows that he got no kind of help.”

Regarding the drug testing at LSU, A.D. Joe Alleva says “it is a program we would put up against any in the country.”

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Miles Put The Right Spin On LSU’s 2013 Schedule

scheduleAppearing in an ESPN interview with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit yesterday, LSU coach Les Miles sounded off on everything from Cam Cameron’s impact on the Tiger offense to Tyrann Mathieu’s pro potential.

But it’s what the coach didn’t say about LSU’s 2013 schedule — aside from an opening joke that drew laughs from Herbstreit — that should be noted:


“Certainly they’re putting us in a position to play in either division.  You know, we’ll play certainly the toughest schedule in the West and they’re picking the best teams that they can to give us out of the East. 

I have to be honest with you, we kind of accept that schedule.  We look forward to the competition.  We like to think that maybe there’s only one team in the country that could go through it and kind of look forward to it.”


Good answer.

The SEC once again cut a transitional schedule for 2013.  At some point in the near future the league is expected to create a new scheduling rotation of eight league games per team per year (though we still believe a nine-game slate is inevitable).  But the last two years have been hodge-podged together and that’s raised complaints from schools who’ve had to travel to the same opponent in back-to-back years, from schools who’ve been forced to play the best teams outside their division, and from schools who’ve felt their chief rivals did not have to play the best teams outside their division.

Given an opportunity to open up on national television, Miles didn’t whine.  He didn’t moan.  He didn’t cry.

Granted, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva has done his share of bellyaching about the league’s need to do away with permanent cross-division rivalries, but Miles wouldn’t take the bait when Fowler and Herbstreit pointed out the Tigers’ drew Florida (home) and Georgia (away) from the East.

Instead he responded with what we assume is his message to his team: “We’re the only team that could pull this kind of thing off.”  Kudos.

A tough schedule isn’t always something to cry about.  Miles and LSU should know better than anyone that a rough slate of games can actually open the door to BCS glory.

It was just six Januarys ago that the Tigers were handed a slot in the BCS Championship Game despite having two losses on their ledger.  They took advantage of that opportunity, whipped Ohio State, and gave Miles his only crystal football to date.

With LSU’s schedule in 2013, a loss — maybe even two — might not close the door completely on the Tigers’ title hopes.


Les Miles Talks LSU Football


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List Of A.D. Salaries Released; Vandy On Top

The folks at USA Today have filed the records requests and thumbed through the tax records of every school in the country to come up with a master list of athletic directors’ salaries.  (Some say “athletics directors,” others say “athletic director,” me?  I’ve always gone for the singular version.)

What’s sure to get the most play is the fact that Vanderbilt’s David Williams is the highest paid AD in the nation. 

(We’ll give you time to audibly gasp.)

Except, Williams is not really an AD.  He’s the Vice Chancellor for University Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary of the University and a Professor of Law.  He just happens to oversee student athletics, as well.

Technically the highest paid true athletic director in the country is the man just behind Williams on USA Today’s list — Florida’s Jeremy Foley.

Below is a comparison of all the salaries of the SEC’s athletic directors.

School Pay
Other Pay
Total Pay
Maximum Bonus
David Williams
Jeremy Foley
Dave Hart
Joe Alleva
Mitch Barnhart
Jay Jacobs
Jeff Long
Mal Moore
S. Carolina
Eric Hyman
Greg McGarity
Ole Miss
Pete Boone
Miss. State
Scott Stricklin


* Tennessee had to open up the wallet the lure Dave Hart from Tuscaloosa to Knoxville.  And technically, they helped make money for two guys on this list.  The school’s first choice was Joe Alleva who received a bump to stay at LSU instead.

* If he maxed out his bonus, Arkansas’ Jeff Long could nearly double his base salary in a given year.

* Here’s betting Georgia’s Greg McGarity really counts on that $500 of private pay each year.

* It says something about the money to be made in college athletics when you look at a man making $300,000 a year and feel sorry for the guy.  You think the other SEC ADs haze MSU’s Scott Stricklin by making him pick up the tab at restaurants?

* In cast you’re wondering, here are the numbers for one soon-to-be SEC member and as well as a couple of schools that continue to make headlines as potential SEC partners:

Texas A&M’s Bill Byrne = $690,000 (all school money), bonus of $287,500

Missouri’s Mike Alden = $659,775 ($22,400 of that from outside the university), bonus of $308,161

West Virginia’s Oliver Luck = $405,600 (all school money), bonus o $130,000

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Miles Slightly Downplays NFL Talk

Last week,’s Mike Freeman wrote that Les Miles is becoming a hot name among NFL franchises considering future coaching candidates.

Yesterday, Miles didn’t have much to say about the topic yesterday:

“Any time someone says nice things about you, that is very kind, and you recognize that.  You are so focused on the things that you are doing currently that you give little focus to a number of articles. … Again, it certainly is a compliment.  I am happy where I am at.”

Miles’ boss — athletic director Joe Alleva — told The New Orleans Times-Picayune that he believes Miles is happy in Baton Rouge.  “We love him here and we’ll have to let the season play out and see what happens.  But no, I’m not worried about (Miles leaving for the NFL).”

As we wrote last week, we would be very surprised to see a rah-rah coach like Miles walk away from the collegiate game.

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SEC Headlines – 7/28/11 Part One

1.  Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower says he’s ready to play ball.

2.  Which true freshman could help at Auburn?

3.  Arkansas was remarkably consistent in 2010.

4.  Les Miles was “loose and relaxed” meeting with LSU fans yesterday.

5.  This writer says that if Joe Alleva were doing a bad job as AD, LSU officials would have let him leave for Tennessee.

6.  ESPN will produce and air a documentary about the Iron Bowl. 

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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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Alleva Stays At LSU, UT Keeps Looking

So much for sources saying Joe Alleva would become Tennessee’s new athletic director tomorrow.  LSU has put out a press release debunking that story and Tennessee officials say their search is moving forward.

Alleva said in LSU’s release: “This is not an opportunity that I pursued and Tennessee is a wonderful place.  But in the end I felt that Chancellor Martin has a great vision for LSU.”

He also said, “There is more work to be done and my heart bleeds purple and gold.”

Meanwhile, Tennessee spokesman Jimmy Stanton told Knoxville media outlets that his school’s search “remains in program.” 

As it turns out, Twitter reports from Knoxville spawned Twitter reports from Louisiana this afternoon.  Sadly, while Twitter may be fast, the folks using it are not always accurate.

For Alleva, it will be interesting to see if he gets a nice, fat raise in the not-so-distant future.  LSU’s chancellor cut short a trip to New Mexico to return to Baton Rouge and deal with Alleva face to face.

For Tennessee, the Vols’ AD search is beginning to take on the feel of the school’s post-Lane Kiffin football search.

Come to think of it, Derek Dooley was Louisiana Tech’s AD, too.  Maybe he’d be happy to be UT’s fallback once more.

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