Image Credit: Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel
In a public records request obtained by WBRZ ABC 2 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva is shown calling the postponement of his team’s away game against the Florida Gators “a joke” in an email sent to a member of the school’s board of supervisors.
The email, which was sent five hours after the decision came down, shows Alleva not only ripping the Southeastern Conference‘s decision to suspend the game — “This is a joke” — but also insinuating that it was Florida that forced the postponement because it gave the Gators a competitive advantage.
“No way,” Alleva writes when the board member poses that it would be in UF’s best interest to play the game also, “if they lost they would lose the east. Their schedule [is] easier than Tennessee if they wanted to play we would be playing here or there.”
Tigers sports information director Michael Bonnettee later joined Alleva in siding against the decision made by the SEC and Florida in the face of Category 4 Hurricane Matthew. “What a joke,” he wrote, per WBRZ.
It should come as no surprise that the local Baton Rouge media followed Alleva’s mindset to a T in reporting on this story, sitting firmly in LSU’s camp about the entire incident.
You will also remember that the Gators and the SEC each praised each other but not the Tigers after Florida agreed to play the game in Baton Rouge on Nov. 19. UF athletic director Jeremy Foley came out swinging, taking shots at LSU and Alleva over the incident, as it certainly looked like Alleva was playing a long con over this entire situation.
WBRZ noted that it also reached out to Florida with a public records request, but as is tradition with the Gators, “the university said it was exempt from public records requests,” providing a few innocuous emails in good faith.