It’s been a wild and crazy few weeks inside the LSU football bubble. Athletic Director Joe Alleva tried and failed to oust head football coach Les Miles. Alleva’s leaks, lies, and intrigues finally blew up in his face as LSU beat Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. And that is why Joe Alleva is malaka of the week.
It all began when the Tigers hit the wall after overachieving their way to a 7-0 start. After consecutive SEC rival losses to Alabama and Arkansas, Malaka Alleva swung into action and leaked a story to columnist Scott Rabalais of the Advocate. Alleva has denied being the source but his klutzy fingerprints are all over it. The gist of the story was that Miles would be fired if his team didn’t win its last 2 games.The leaker implied that Miles spent too much time coaching and too little time blowing prominent boosters. If you’re unfamiliar with big-time sports boosters, they’re essentially fan boys with money and big mouths.
The plot accelerated as the pro-Alleva forces leaked stories that Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher was headed to Red Stick. There was a problem: the rumors were just that, rumors. When Fisher began denying the reports, the anti-Miles coup began to collapse. Miles was greeted as a conquering hero by fans before the Tigers final home game and Alleva was booed. Tiger Stadium was full of pro-Miles and anti-Alleva signs. This is not what happens when an unpopular coach is about to be fired: Jerry DiNardo was nearly booed off the field during his last game as LSU head coach in 1999. In contrast, Miles was carried off the field by his team. The coup had fizzled, primarily because of overconfidence and general malakatude. Miles was informed that he’d be retained in the bowels of the stadium right after the game.
I watched the game and the post-game presser and saw the coup unravel in real-time. It was a thing of beauty. Here’s what I had to say as it unfolded:
The coup failed, in part, because of a huge backlash from the University community. After years of savage budget cuts, a $15 million buy-out was a gigantic fuck you to faculty, students, and alumni. Additionally, Alleva and his fan boy plotters mistook kvetching over the eccentricities of Lesball for a fan base ready to revolt against the Coach with the best winning percentage in school history.
Alleva was played for a fool by Jimbo Fisher’s agent Jimmy Sexton who used Alleva’s lust for Fisher’s services as a way to squeeze concessions out of Florida State. It’s what agents do: they’re sharks in expensive suits. Alleva was the perfect mark for Sexton’s con game. Gullibility is often an essential component of malakatude. It certainly is in this instance.
I’m uncertain if this farce resembles a Marx Brothers film or a Three Stooges short. Now that I think of it, since low comedy was involved, it’s more the latter. Alleva thought of himself as Moe and goofball Coach Miles as Larry. Instead, Les went all Curley on his ass and turned the tables on the hapless AD.
Here’s the deal: I’ve had reservations about Les Miles for years. He’s an erratic game coach whose offense is a throwback to the days of his mentor Bo Schembechler’s “three yards and a cloud of dust” running game. But he wins and is one of the best recruiters in college football history. The players and their parents love Miles. Superstar running back Leonard Fournette chose the Tigers over Alabama because he didn’t like Nick Saban, and found Les to be “warm and fatherly.” Not a bad thing for an athlete to say about their coach.
Alleva’s failed attempt to oust Les Miles has left his reputation in tatters and there are now calls for him to be fired. Holy schadenfreude, Batman. Alleva’s minions are floating the preposterous notion that the real reason to fire Miles was “insubordination.” Supposedly, Miles went over his boss’ head to the Governor. Funny thing it’s the first time we’re hearing of this. The problem with this postulation is that PBJ has shown no interest in sports and his indifference to LSU is the stuff of legend. My hunch is that Team Alleva is trying to pander to the incoming Governor, but it’s just another piss poor attempt at spin and damage control.
It’s been an entertaining few weeks but I’m glad it’s over. The new Governor has pledged to support higher education so the LSU community can heave a sigh of relief that the worst is over. Les Miles can get back to chewing grass, faking kicks, and making marginally coherent comments. Joe Alleva can go fuck himself and admit that he’s a Larry, not a Moe. And that is why Joe Alleva is malaka of the week.