DEVILLE: Emmert will be sorely missed

Although it is not official yet, LSU chancellor Mark Emmert is now former LSU chancellor Mark Emmert. <br><br> Baton Rouge newspapers reported Saturday morning Emmert, LSU's chancellor since 1999, will most likely accept a lucrative deal from the University of Washington to become the school's president.

The deal is not done until Emmert inks his name to the dotted line, but being a native of Seattle and an alum of UW, (the old adage) "one would think" Emmert is headed out of town. Also, it would not seem it has anything to do with money. Washington is not likely to top the salary LSU is paying Emmert (roughly $500,000), but this is an opportunity for The Emmert's (Mark, with wife DeLaine) to go home.

"The opportunity to lead the University of Washington and return to DeLaine's and my home state is enormously compelling," Emmert said.

Now I know what some of you are saying, the chancellor is bolting from LSU. But think about this for a moment – if you were a native of Baton Rouge and an LSU grad and you were in the same capacity at, say, Maryland, and you were given the chance to return to Baton Rouge as the president of the LSU system – I think you get the picture, right?

At any rate, love him or hate him (and yes there are definitely plenty of both of you out there), you have to hand it to Emmert and what he has done for LSU.

"We are obviously hopeful that the university will do everything it can to keep the chancellor here," said Saban, who recently made a decision to stay at LSU passing up the NFL. "Chancellor Emmert is absolutely the best boss I've ever had. He's the most significant reason I was interested in this job. Never once has he disappointed me."

In five years in Tigertown, Emmert's academic reputation has been felt in all reaches of LSU. However, what he has done from an academic standpoint may be his crowning achievement in Baton Rouge.

The man who is responsible for bringing Nick Saban to Tiger Stadium, Emmert will be credited with building college football's newest power as LSU stormed to its first title in 45 years. There were plenty of ooohs and ahhs and grumbles and groans when Emmert upstaged then-athletic director Joe Dean and gave Saban and agent Jimmy Sexton $1.2 million when he arrived in November of 1999.
The rest of Emmert's critics' jaws dropped when LSU made Saban the nation's highest paid coach with incentives giving the fourth year head coach almost $3 million – per year. But I think most people are cool with that with the Tigers' latest national title and all.

With Washington's football team slumping lately and the program hanging under a cloud after the Rick Neuheisal incident, Emmert's services will be quite welcomed as the Huskies look to rise back to Pac-10 and national prominence. His past endeavors more than qualify him for the job. After building a basketball powerhouse (men and women) at UConn, Emmert triumphed on the bayou introducing the LSU nation to Saban and the return of big-time college football.

As we bid adieu to Emmert, some will curse him for turning his back on LSU, others will praise the trail of success he leaves, but most will remember the triumphs, and (unfortunately) the words seat licenses and surcharges. Save that for another day.

As the Emmert's appear to be clearing out the chancellor's home over on Lakeshore Drive, Saban gave LSU a vote of confidence on the search for his friend's successor.

"If that happens I think they will do an outstanding job of hiring someone who will continue what we have tried to start here," Saban said.


On a different note, a great big Tiger Rag pat on the back to Lady Tiger acting head coach Pokey Chatman. In a season riddled with distractions and doubt about the future of LSU head coach Sue Gunter, Chatman has done a stand-up job leading the Lady Tigers to the NCAA Tournament.
A former star point guard under Gunter, Chatman is seeing the game and her team in a different light.
"More questions," Chatman said. "The game is the same. Maybe when it is over I might look back and it might be a little bit different. But right now it is the same."
When asked has she changed as a coach after serving as the top dog for almost half a season, Chatman said yes.
"I hope so," Chatman said. "I like to think I have. But really, I have learned a little more about this team, not as such in a game situation, but more how the team has handled the situation."

In other news, the LSU baseball team flexed its muscles in winning two of three games at South Carolina this weekend.
A thriller on Friday night was followed by a letdown on Saturday, but Sunday's offensive display against the previously unbeaten Gamecocks proved this team is as good as its No. 1 ranking.

For the first time in several weeks, I am not going to discuss any LSU men's hoops.
That is one dead horse we have kicked too many times. If you want to chew the fat further, log onto and check out our message boards. Plus, read up on our final report card.

Finally, for you recruiting junkies, hope you guys have enjoyed our new methods of producing the most in-depth, up to date recruiting coverage. We are happy to welcome Sonny Shipp back to our staff after a brief hiatus. Hope you enjoy his new featured weekly recruiting column and our extended coverage.

As for the print edition of Tiger Rag, we will take the next two weeks off due to a lull in the production schedule. Expect the next issue of Tiger Rag to show up in your mailbox on Tuesday, April 13. In the meantime, check out all the latest news on women's hoops, baseball, softball and most especially recruiting on

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