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Thursday, January 17, 2008

LSU turmoil meaningless to football

BATON ROUGE - LSU obviously needs to get its act together for the sake of university, which in the end is more important than football in all areas other than money.

But as far as football - the largest window to LSU - is concerned, the recent shakeup among the brass at LSU is meaningless.

When a football program like LSU's is thriving the way it is as much now as when Nick Saban was the coach, it doesn't really matter who is working as athletic director, chancellor or president. As long as those folks realize the monetary and unifying importance of football, strive to stay within NCAA rules or close to it and stay out of the way, the program will continue to thrive.

When a football program needs an athletic director or chancellor to step in is when it's in terrible shape, which was the situation at LSU when Mark Emmert became chancellor in the spring of 1999. He realized changes had to be made, and he realized the athletic director at the time - Joe Dean - was not very good at football decisions and at hiring football coaches. So the chancellor took over, and the rest is history. LSU is the football program of the decade thanks to Emmert, Saban and current athletic director Skip Bertman, who hired current football coach Les Miles.

LSU athletics will not miss chancellor Sean O'Keefe, who was allowed to resign on Wednesday after being fired. O'Keefe was a rookie with regard to athletics, though he sure liked to hang around it. O'Keefe was also a rookie as far as leading a university. He was a bad hire to begin with. He's an extremely smart individual with excellent contacts in Washington D.C., but that's not a chancellor. He's not an educator. One of the reasons LSU hired the former secretary of the Navy and head of NASA back in 2004 was for the headlines. One of the reasons O'Keefe said he took the job - when cornered by reporters at his hiring - was the significant pay raise.

Former LSU president William Jenkins, who was mistakenly forced out by silly Louisiana politics, is now the acting chancellor. He should remain there. Or perhaps he could return to president and let current president John Lombardi become chancellor, a position with which he has more experience. Either way, Jenkins and Lombardi are two quality educators and university leaders in the class of Emmert.

Meanwhile, LSU is still looking for a new athletic director. That was one of O'Keefe's jobs. Lombardi said Wednesday that search will go on. However, an incoming athletic director may think twice about coming to LSU amid all this business. LSU is also looking for a new chancellor.

Perhaps, LSU should hold off on the athletic director search and allow Bertman to remain another year while it gets its house in order. He's been the best athletic director LSU has had since Carl Maddox.

As far as Miles is concerned, he could care less. Any new or old hire at LSU should have enough brains to leave a good thing alone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What impact does the LSU turmoil have on our Health Care System. As long as the LSU Board continues to act behind closed doors, am I the only one who is wondering who is running the ship? How can Dr. Lombardi appoint Dr. Jenkins on the same day that our new Gov. declares a hiring freeze for all state jobs? What a joke. It is time for the LSU Board to step up to the plate, and do the job they were appointed to do. Who is really in charge?

10:56 AM  
Blogger macsr2463 said...

It's past time to get rid of Brady. He has never done anything with the basketball program and from what i see this year never will. They need to bring in a good basketball coach so lsu can final become a basketball powerhouse in the sec and nation.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnson said he took the ACT three times before Thursday, scoring 22 in October after 16s on his first two.

Johnson said Florida, one of his top three choices (along with Florida State) before he settled on LSU, questioned his academic eligibility with the NCAA. ACT officials subsequently reviewed his test results and "flagged" the October score.

"I'm not upset," Johnson said. "Florida made an issue about the ACT score. They're cowards. They had to go behind my back. But that's OK. We play them this year (on Oct. 11 at Florida)."


7:49 AM  

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