SEC: Joan Cronan

Despite reports Tuesday that LSU athletic director Joe Alleva was Tennessee's top target to replace Mike Hamilton, Alleva has decided to stay at LSU.

And the search continues in Knoxville.

"This is not an opportunity that I pursued," Alleva said in a statement released by LSU. "And Tennessee is a wonderful place, but in the end I felt that Chancellor [Michael] Martin has a great vision for LSU. He and the Board of Supervisors ... showed tremendous support for me to stay at LSU. Baton Rouge is my home, and I want to be part of the community for a long time to come. There is more work to be done, and my heart bleeds purple and gold. I look forward to working every day to make LSU a better place for the best student-athletes, coaches and fans in America."

Alleva is not only staying at LSU but he's going to get a raise in the process. Well played, sir.

While he didn't provide details about Alleva's future raise, Martin said a new contract would be drawn up and presented at a future board of supervisors meeting.

"It was brought to my attention that the University of Tennessee was interested in Joe becoming their athletic director, and often good people -- both in academics and athletics -- attract interest from other institutions," Martin said. "We have been pleased with Joe's performance so, in concert with the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, we determined it was in the best interests of the university to make him a sufficiently fair offer. We are happy that he has chosen to keep Baton Rouge as his home."

It's back to the drawing board for Tennessee, even though Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek made it clear that he wanted to hire a new AD before the start of the football season in September.

Earlier this month, it appeared as though Tennessee was ready to hire Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich. That was until news broke about Georgia Tech's NCAA violations and the Yellow Jackets being stripped of their 2009 ACC championship and going on NCAA probation.

Talk about a major goof by Tennessee's search committee.

In the meantime, interim athletic director Joan Cronan will continue to run the athletic department.

Cronan steps in as Vols' interim AD

June, 9, 2011
6/09/11
5:31
PM ET
Joan Cronan, Tennessee's longtime women's athletic director, will oversee the Vols' entire athletic department until a replacement for Mike Hamilton is found.

This is just a temporary assignment for Cronan, who will remain as women's athletic director and also be a member of the chancellor's cabinet until June 30, 2012. From that point, she will take on an advisory role to the vice chancellor and chancellor until June 30, 2014.

The real news coming out of Thursday's announcement was that Hamilton's replacement will be the vice chancellor/director of athletics and oversee the entire athletic department. It's a move that will complete the consolidation of the men's and women's athletic departments at Tennessee, which was one of two schools in the country (Texas being the other) with separate men's and women's athletic departments.

Tennessee chancellor Jimmy Cheek has said he hopes to have a new vice chancellor/director of athletics in place by the start of the 2011 football season.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 10/4