Duke's Atheletic Director Leaving To Go To LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Joe Alleva is leaving Duke to become LSU's athletic director.

Alleva will replace Skip Bertman, retiring in June.

The 54-year-old Alleva has led Duke's 26 sports programs since 1998 and received a contract extension last year. Under his leadership, the Blue Devils teams won six national championships and 44 Atlantic Coast Conference titles.

He oversaw Duke's athletic department during the lacrosse team rape allegations in 2006, and recently hired David Cutcliffe as football coach.

"It's very exciting to be joining one of the premier athletic departments in the country," Alleva said in a statement issued by LSU.

In a statement issued by Duke, Alleva said he decided to make the move after talking with his family and several Duke colleagues.

"For over 30 years, I have committed myself to Duke University, and for the past 10, I have been fortunate to lead one of the nation's best departments of athletics," Alleva said. "I am appreciative of my time Duke, and even more grateful for the relationships I have forged while working here, particularly in the department of athletics."

LSU System president John Lombardi and interim LSU chancellor William Jenkins made the final selection. Alleva's hiring must be approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors, which meets April 25.

"I'm confident we've found a new leader for LSU athletics who exemplifies the vision and integrity needed to lead our sports programs to new heights, a champion of student athletes who believes in the highest standards of competition both on the field and in the classroom," Lombardi said.

Jenkins cited Alleva's athletic achievements, his emphasis on improving graduation rates and his "record-setting" fundraising levels among the reasons for the selection.

Among Alleva's first tasks for the job will be hiring a new men's basketball coach for LSU. John Brady was fired in February after the Tigers started 8-13 this season. Brady was hired at Arkansas State six weeks later.

Bertman, who became athletic director in 2001, will remain at LSU in an emeritus role, focusing on fundraising, at his same salary until June 2010.