Alleva To Orgeron, Coordinators – “You Guys Are Gonna Get Me Fired”

We’re not sure how else to frame this story from Ross Dellenger of The Advocate about a meeting allegedly had between LSU’s athletic director Joe Alleva, head football coach Ed Orgeron and the latter’s two coordinators Dave Aranda and Matt Canada on Monday…

The meetings in LSU’s football operations facility Monday were not limited to players only.

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva met with head coach Ed Orgeron and his two coordinators in what Orgeron described as a “very positive” gathering about the program’s “direction,” he said Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference teleconference.

Alleva and Orgeron called the meeting, Orgeron said, and it was triggered, he admitted, by last week’s 24-21 loss to Troy in Tiger Stadium – the first nonconference home loss in 17 years.

The discussions between offensive coordinator Matt Canada, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, Orgeron and Alleva unfolded in Orgeron’s office, and they centered around “accountability,” a source familiar with the discussions told The Advocate. The four left the meeting in agreement on the direction of the program.

“It was a gut check meeting,” the source said. “It was more that guys need to look each other in the eye and tell each other how it is.”

And here was a quote Orgeron gave in the SEC Coaches’ conference call this morning…

“I think the reason why Joe wanted to do it and I wanted to do it is because we’re not playing very well,” Orgeron said. “We all know that. We wanted to see what we could correct, and we threw everything out on the table. I thought it was very positive.”

One thing which must be said on Orgeron’s behalf is that he has an uncanny, and fairly refreshing, propensity for positivity. As poorly as his team has been playing he’s going to need that.

And good for him. Given the situation at LSU, having his team put itself back in good order in time to travel to Florida and actually win Saturday’s game, which seems to have something of a Last Stand character to it, would be wonderful medicine for everyone.

Of course, on Sunday we at the Hayride called for Alleva to be discharged – the process by which Orgeron was hired being only one of five reasons given for our stance. Orgeron’s success for the rest of this year, or lack thereof, really shouldn’t matter much at this point. After all, putting a $12 million buyout on his contract all by itself ought to be a firing offense – as many in the national and local media have noted (Ron Higgins at the New Orleans Times-Picayune paid us the dubious compliment of repeating nearly verbatim the justification we gave for Alleva’s ouster, though he didn’t bother to cite or link our post so we’ll respond in kind).

So as far as we’re concerned we’ll enthusiastically root for improvement in LSU’s fortunes and for Orgeron’s success this weekend and beyond. None of it should change the calculus on the athletic director.

Hopefully Orgeron is right in saying that meeting was positive and things worked out. Hopefully the coaches and players are all on the same page now. And hopefully LSU’s athletic department has new leadership soon.

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