Why would LSU choose Joe Alleva over Lee Fowler?

Alleva v Fowler1

Lee Fowler‘s interest in other Athletics Director jobs have not been a secret since his arrival in Raleigh in September of 2000. In the seven-plus years of Fowler’s tenure, the man that likes to be referred to as “Coach” has expressed interest and interviewed for multiple jobs of all shapes and sizes.

As anyone who loves money and whose ego loves attention to the degree of Fowler, conventional wisdom holds that Fowler covets jobs at “big schools” with high profiles. Unfortunately for Fowler – and for the wonderful fans of NC State’s athletics teams – every single one of Fowler’s overtures with big institutions have been spurned, including public connections with Tennessee in 2003, Georgia in 2003 and his not-so-public interest in Ohio State in 2005. Since those openings almost a half a decade ago, SFN has learned that Fowler has flirted with lesser jobs (including one last year) that have also resulted in “no interest” from the institution(s).

Over the weekend, Duke’s Joe Alleva was selected as the Athletics Director at SEC football power, Louisiana State in another process where Coach Fowler was not considered amongst the finalists.


Since I had the numbers handy, I thought that I would share a comparison between the performance of Alleva’s Athletics Department at Duke and the performance of Fowler’s at NC State in Director’s Cup. There are a lot of interesting items in the tables, not the least of which is how:

* Alleva’s absolute WORST year in ten years (#30) is better than Fowler’s BEST year at NC State in his eight years (#34).

* in this decade, Alleva’s worst finish amongst ACC institutions rankings is better than Fowler’s best ranking.

* Alleva has led Duke to the best finish amongst ACC programs on two different occassions. Fowler has led NC State to a finish in the top half of ACC schools once.

It must be Duke’s fan support and all of those facilities.

Alleva v Fowler 2

Alleva v Fowler 3

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51 Responses to Why would LSU choose Joe Alleva over Lee Fowler?

  1. primacyone 04/07/2008 at 2:31 PM #

    It baffles the mind. It really does.

  2. Rick 04/07/2008 at 2:33 PM #

    I wonder if Fowler has made the connection between his inability to get a job and NCSU’s lack of success?

    And if so would that spur him to do something besides sip mint julips on the deck of lakehouse to help NCSU improve?

    My guess would be he has accepted that he will be “stuck” at NCSU for the rest of his “career”. He probably even blames NCSU’s lunatic fringe from keeping him from moving to the SEC.

  3. Elrod 04/07/2008 at 2:37 PM #

    I would be curious to see a similar comparison of Oblinger’s performance relative to other ACC institutions. I do not know what the right measure would be (graduation rate, national institutional rankings, percent of graduates being hired, etc.), but I would be curious to know if Oblinger knows what success looks like or if mediocrity is all he knows. Maybe he doesn’t recognize the presence of a problem.

  4. ADS95 04/07/2008 at 2:45 PM #

    I was surprised at this hire…not due to the level of success that Duke has had in non-revenue sports, but rather because of the things that have happened under Alleva’s watch at Duke, namely the putrid football program (I guess the AD doesn’t have to do much to keep football going at LSU), the Lacrosse fiasco, and the drunken boat accident.

    I guess they felt the pro’s outweighted the con’s.

    Also – after Fowler’s basketball coaching search (not to mention how rarely he has fired or hired ANY coaches), his reputation as an AD is pretty much mud. No surprise that he wouldn’t get any consideration from any BCS school.

  5. Wisc-Wolf 04/07/2008 at 2:52 PM #

    what I don’t understand is how the administration can accept these numbers. When did NC State decide that they were not going to be competative across the acc and accept these results. This issue is beat to death here but no one at the University seems to relaize this. What has this guy done that can even be complemented since he has been at State.

  6. RTPMedic 04/07/2008 at 2:53 PM #

    This must be sort of what it is like to have genital herpes.

    You have something no one else wants and there is no cure for it in the foreseeable future.

  7. Howler 04/07/2008 at 3:13 PM #

    ^ Funny RTP.

    I, for one, will be happy to write a letter of recommendation for Fowler to any institution considering him as an AD….or a Coach…..or a fundraiser…….or a guy who enjoys sitting on his ass cluelessly in a big office feeling good about himself….or whatever he actually does for a living.

  8. El Scrotcho 04/07/2008 at 3:17 PM #

    Re: Oblinger/NC State statistics – I’ve never been able to find a good listing of historical rankings and statistics for university rankings. US News keeps most of their stuff premium and then seems to wipe out the old stuff when the next year comes along. There are great historical sites for sports statistics…guess it’s a prime example of propriety vs public domain.

  9. choppack1 04/07/2008 at 3:18 PM #

    My research showed that Alleva had done quite well moving Duke to the next level. He did recently make some horrid choies in his personal life and the Duke lacrosse case – and much of his success may be due to Duke’s b’ball program. However, you can’t say he hasn’t leveraged his success w/ the other programs. They’ve made lots of inroads in women’s sports.

  10. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 04/07/2008 at 3:21 PM #

    I think State is about to turn the corner.

    One comparison that was left out is how much money Fowler has leached from supporters for the nice corner offices for the coaches that don’t seem to do much for their 1 million a year salary.

  11. Wisc-Wolf 04/07/2008 at 3:38 PM #

    Take basketball out of the equation and include Duke’s horrible football program and Fowler still gets his butt kicked.

  12. RegularExpression 04/07/2008 at 4:16 PM #

    Count me as surprised that Alleva was offered this job. Along with his missteps that have been noted, he let Gail Goestenkors leave, and yes, I think she could have been persuaded to stay. During the time that Texas was courting her he made public comments that she was very well paid(although she made about 1/3 of what Pat Summitt makes at Tennessee) and that she would not be getting a pay raise out of Texas’ interest. Some may applaud that stance, but I gaurantee Duke women’s basketball is going to go downhill.

  13. BoKnowsNCS71 04/07/2008 at 4:22 PM #

    Ethics in the State of Louisana is like no other. LSU gets some street cred for LSU because he came from a school running a clean program but Allevea is going to find himself being asked to look the other way a whole lot more down there. They are at least smart enough to not get caught cheating.

    But Alleva likes to drink, fish and get out on the water and he’s a perfect fit for them.

  14. Girlfriend in a Coma 04/07/2008 at 4:38 PM #

    This is surprising to me given that LSU is obviously a football school (to say the least), taken with Duke’s ridiculously bad record (D-1’s worst by a large margin I think) in that sport under Alleva.

  15. howlie 04/07/2008 at 4:44 PM #

    The presecution rests.

  16. RAWFS 04/07/2008 at 4:45 PM #

    Money talks and that’s the only “person” that will be listened to. Results? Who cares about results when the books are in the black and the fans keep sending their money.

    LTRs were a masterstroke, because they insure WPC memberships’ continuance lest the donor lose his/her season ticket. In that regard, the money is not at all tied to results and championships.

  17. Todd 04/07/2008 at 4:46 PM #

    I wish Jed the best of luck in his job hunting. I really do! I hope he finds what he’s looking for… soon!

  18. Primewolf 04/07/2008 at 7:00 PM #

    Nice work SFN.

    However, can you compare Duke’s eleven years prior to Alleva to Alleva’s record to give us the gain effect under his leadership. As I recall, the gain effect was significant also under his regime.

    Then compare he 8 years prior to Fowler to Fowler. I suspect the trend is still bad for Fowler.

    Better yet, show the results over the last 25 years for both schools. Our trends down, Duke is up.

  19. Ed89 04/07/2008 at 7:10 PM #

    LSU is also the school that hired Press Maravich away from State, so he would bring his son – Pete. From an earlier thread, he’s definitely an example of someone “old” school that did not make the cut academically.

  20. cowdog 04/07/2008 at 7:31 PM #

    I ask you this boys and girls, what is our academic standing as Oblingers record has been called to question by Elscrotcho.

    Has our admin made so many advances under his lead that justifies us joining the Ivy League? Is that the intent?

    Clean up Hillsboro St. first. Then go from there.

  21. ruffles31 04/07/2008 at 7:31 PM #

    It is very interesting that LSU would hire an athletic director that has had to hire 3 football coaches in less than a decade. The first two were complete busts and the third, while in my opinion is an excellent hire for Duke, hasn’t coached a game yet.

    Football is by far the numero uno sport at LSU. And #2 isn’t basketball. It is baseball. Not far behind that you can assume would be women’s basketball. They just made their 5th straight Final Four. And then you have men’s basketball, where they just canned their coach that took them to the Final Four less than 3 years ago. Alleva has to go in and pick a basketball coach, something that he has NEVER had to do in Durham.

    I am very surprised that LSU is going in this direction. From the Wolfpack point of view, can I dream that Duke would hire Fowler?

  22. turfpack 04/07/2008 at 7:53 PM #

    SUR-PRISE!SUR-PRISE!SUR-PRISE!-GOMER=Lee doing a terrible job? What? Who said?This is news to me!(From the brain of Oblinger and the rest of the Admin. crowd)
    How can we put up with this sh&% year after year after year!!!!

  23. lejaham 04/07/2008 at 8:17 PM #

    All of this Fowler bashing is great stuff, but isn’t it time to move forward to some Spring Football? I would really like to get some insight into how Russell Wilson is doing. I did see he was 12-18 for 177 yds. in the most recent scimmage. Does anyone have any information on the QB battle?

  24. RegularExpression 04/07/2008 at 8:29 PM #

    SFN – I’d love to know which lesser programs Fowler has shown interest in and when. If true, maybe that is a sign that he feels some heat and wants to get out, no matter where he goes, ala Sendek. Previously all of his flirtations have been with “step-up” jobs. Of course the heat is not coming from the administration, which just extended his contract until 2013. Maybe the lunatic fringe is getting to him??

  25. erichack 04/07/2008 at 8:50 PM #

    regular espression – that is a great point…i would have to believe it is one of two things…he is getting heat from people that matter (admin and/or money) or he sees that he can never get NCSU to a level of excellence and he has decided to move on to greener pastures (an institution more to his level of compentency)…i have to believe it is the former point…

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