LSU Comments on Postponed Game vs. Florida in Released Emails

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2016

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 17:  A general view during a game at Tiger Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Trey Schmaltz of WBRZ in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, obtained internal emails displaying a level of frustration from the LSU Tigers regarding the decision to move their clash with the Florida Gators as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

The Tigers and Gators weren't the only teams impacted by the hurricane, with the Georgia Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks moving their game back a day to Oct. 9. According to Schmaltz, both LSU athletics director Joe Alleva and communications director Michael Bonnette called the situation "a joke" after hearing of Georgia and South Carolina's postponement.

Whereas the Bulldogs and Gamecocks figured things out in relatively short order, an announcement about Florida and LSU moving their game from Oct. 8 to Nov. 19 wasn't made until the following week.

In a conversation with a person Schmaltz believed to be R. Blake Chatelain, a member of LSU's board of supervisors, Alleva also questioned whether the Gators wanted to play the Tigers at all:

"If they lose they would lose the east. Their schedule is easier than Tennessee (sic) if they wanted to play we would be playing here or there," Alleva wrote after Chatelain questioned why Florida would want to avoid a game with the Tigers.

Chatelain wrote, "Florida would want to play as much as us... Would they not?"

Some might find Alleva's frustration somewhat ironic, since outgoing Florida AD Jeremy Foley had few pleasant words for his counterpart when all was said and done, per USA Today:

We made this decision to play the game in Baton Rouge. The conference office asked us to find a solution in working with LSU, yet LSU was never a true partner in our discussions. The Southeastern Conference offered some other solutions, and the LSU administration made it clear that they were unwilling to consider other reasonable options.

Alleva took a hard line from the very beginning, insisting LSU had a home game scheduled for Nov. 19—the only available date. As a result, LSU will host Florida for the second year in a row, with the Gators getting a home game against the Tigers in 2017.

Somebody was bound to come out on the losing end no matter what transpired. Either LSU was going to lose a lucrative home game or Florida would have to travel for a difficult game in which it thought it could count on home-field advantage.

In the end, Alleva and LSU won, but his comments about Florida's desire to play the Tigers could come back to bite him should the Gators leave Baton Rouge with a victory on Nov. 19.

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