Bobby Hebert: It's time for LSU fans to give AD Alleva a break

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LSU officially reinstated Will Wade as the school’s head men’s basketball coach Monday morning after a protracted standoff over Wade’s refusal to meet with school officials about alleged possible recruiting violations.

After Wade’s reinstatement, WWL’s Bobby Hebert said Monday afternoon on “Sports Talk” that the refusal to rush to judgment, along with the excellence of a large number of LSU athletic programs, should be enough for fans to change their perception of beleaguered LSU athletic director Joe Alleva.

“People want to throw Joe Alleva under the bus, and I’ve been one of the indivduals at times,” Hebert said. “But when have we ever had a heyday...when you look at LSU athletics, LSU sports, male or female...where how many teams are truly relevant under his guidance?  Just look right now at who’s relevant and who’s not relevant,” Hebert continued. “The list of relevant programs is amongst the best in the nation. The irrelevant is so minute, it’s unbelievable.”

I know Joe Alleva can handle it.  He’s got his big-boy pants on.  But we’ve got to also recognize what Joe Alleva has done as a catalyst for stability of all the programs at LSU right now.

Hebert went on to say that, even before the situation with Wade, the feelings Tiger fans have about Alleva are tied largely to the football team’s win-loss record against Alabama.

“It’s all about Coach O and the football program,” Hebert said. “The fanbase, it doesn’t matter if you win 10 games. You’ve got to beat Alabama.  It’s amazing how… you can have all these other sports and you’re relevant, and it’s not fair.  Life’s not fair. But it’s all stemming from that.”

As for LSU’s suddenly resurgent basketball program under Wade, Hebert said he’s glad the two sides finally came together to figure the situation out.

“We know Will Wade is not going anywhere,” Hebert said. “He’s kind of damaged goods right now.  Do they view that maybe we’re all in this together, that being Will Wade and LSU?”

“Will Wade was seemingly gone for good, and I said, ‘I don’t know.’ I told Kristian, watch.  He and LSU will weather the storm. You look at the adversity.  You think he’d be gone.  Five LSU players declare for the NBA Draft.  We all know the rules there.  The Tigers coming off 28 wins, an SEC title.  The fanbase recognizes that.  An NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, then it looks decimated.  Then all of a sudden, you’ve got light at the end of the tunnel.  What occurs is that they’re all behind Will Wade and Joe Alleva.”

You can hear the full audio of Bobby’s thoughts throughout his chat with Kristian Garic and Scott Alexander by clicking the podcast link.