LISTEN IN: Dr. Michael Martin
LSU Chancellor discusses Alleva extension, athletic program
By BEN LOVE
Tiger Rag Editor
Tiger Rag Radio had a special guest Tuesday evening as Dr. Michael Martin, LSU Chancellor, joined the program for a very informative 10-minute interview.
In that time, Dr. Martin shared with myself and co-host Jeff Palermo the reasons behind the recent three-year contract extension given to LSU Director of Athletics Joe Alleva, a move that will keep Alleva in Baton Rouge through 2016.
Martin went into great detail about the decision and its timing, given the fact that Alleva was already inked through 2013.
“It’s a combination of things,” explained Martin. “First of all, as you know, he has hired a new coach (Nikki Caldwell) and has to hire another new coach in softball. I think as he goes about doing that, they need the confidence that their boss is going to be here awhile for them to feel comfortable in the role. We’re also in the middle of a relatively large exercise to improve some facilities, and I think continuity there will help us.
“The BCS contract comes up for renegotiations soon. I want to make sure that LSU is consistently represented in that process. And of course conference realignment may not be dead yet. Again, I’d just as soon have Joe, someone with his experience, help us through what may be several years of both BCS change and conference realignment. So this just gives us some confidence that consistency will be in place.”
Dr. Martin then recounted Alleva’s primary duties as A.D., shedding some light on just how much of Alleva’s job is based in the financials and how much is devoted to improving the individual sports within the overall athletic program.
LSU’s Chancellor also gave some insight into why Les Miles’ new contract is yet to be finalized despite the fact the LSU Board of Supervisors met last Friday (when it approved Alleva’s extension, among other things).
“I talked to Les and I’ve talked to Joe a little bit about this, (but) I believe that it’s just a matter of timing,” continued Martin. “Les has an agent (George Bass), as you know, who has helped him through this consistently. I think the agent has been somewhat distracted by other things. And in light of the fact that Les has a very good contract now that he’s perfectly happy with, there just hasn’t been the great sense of urgency.
“My guess is, and I’m guessing but I’m fairly confident, that probably at the May meeting of the Board of Supervisors we will bring Les’ new contract forward and get their approval and move ahead. This has not been anything more than just the timing of a very busy time, and since there are several years left on his existing contract, I don’t think anybody felt panicked to get it done in a hurry.”
Dr. Martin ended the interview candidly, briefly tucking away the company line in lieu of telling Tiger Rag Radio his personal thoughts on where he’d like to see college football go with its postseason format.
Said Martin: “What I believe personally and what I believe is in the best interest of the institution may not always be the same. I’ll be honest with you guys — deep in my heart, I’d like to see some kind of playoff system. I think it can even be done, or we can get closer to it, within the context of the current BCS arrangement.
“I was at the other end of the Division-I programs when I was at New Mexico State. There are some programs at that end that it would be almost miraculous if they could ever participate in a BCS bowl or in a national championship. I’d like to find ways in which those institutions could still participate in the postseason and feel as though there was something meaningful about it. So I don’t want to see us eliminate a lot of bowl opportunities that now allow those schools and those players to play in the postseason. But I also want to make sure that when we crown a national champion, people around the country truly believe that they have won the championship and not just are the recipients of a little club held by a small number of conferences.”
CLICK HERE to listen to Tiger Rag Radio’s interview with Dr. Michael Martin, LSU Chancellor, in its entirety.