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Tiger Athletic Foundation plane tracked to Virginia on Thursday night


According to a report from a New Orleans news station Thursday night, LSU had a conversation with Murray State head coach Steve Prohm about its job opening.

Of course the nature of that conversation is unknown, whether it was to simple gauge interest or something more serious.

But according to Glenn Guilbeau of the Shreveport Times, a plane operated by the Tiger Athletic Foundation was tracked to Virginia on Thursday night.

Guilbeau states in the piece that LSU athletic director Joe Alleva may be interested in Virginia’s Tony Bennett and VCU’s Shaka Smart as possible successors to Trent Johnson, who took over at TCU at the start of the week.

The only interviewee that anyone at LSU has confirmed to this point is North Texas head coach Johnny Jones, and Alleva had positive things to say about him following their meeting.

“I certainly believe Johnny’s a good fit for what LSU is trying to do going forward,” Jones’ agent John Hamilton told Gannett Thursday night.

“Johnny would roll up his sleeves and beat the bushes if he became LSU’s coach.”

Jones played on LSU’s 1981 Final Four team and was an assistant under Dale Brown for 13 years, a period which included ten straight NCAA appearances at one point.

Smart has been one of the hottest names in the coaching ranks over the last two seasons, leading VCU to the Final Four in 2011 and another NCAA tournament appearance this season.

Bennett has a Sweet 16 appearance on his resume (Washington State in 2008) and was reportedly a finalist for the LSU job when Alleva hired Johnson four years ago.

It remains to be seen who Alleva ultimately hires but at the very least following the TAF’s plane could provide a clue or two along the way.

Photo credit: Baton Rouge Advocate file photo

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.