|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|AD, Duke University
AD, Louisiana State University
Alleva began as athletic director in 1998. Alleva hired three football coaches in his 11 years: Carl Franks, Ted Roof, and David Cutcliffe. Franks' record in his five years was 7-45, including two 0-11 seasons. Roof fared no better, going 6-45 until being fired in 2007. Despite an initial preference for former UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell, Alleva eventually settled on Cutcliffe as Roof's replacement. Cutcliffe would eventually go on to win ACC Coach of the Year in 2012. His first baseball coach hired was Bill Hillier who compiled a 121-214 record before being fired in 2005 amid allegations of implicitly encouraging steroid use among his players.
Alleva faced some criticism for the way the university handled the controversial Duke lacrosse team rape allegations in 2006. Despite the three defendants being later exonerated of the charges against them, the head lacrosse coach, a winner of national coach of the year, was forced to resign. In addition, the 2006 lacrosse season was canceled during the ongoing investigation even though 43 of the 47 players were not accused of any wrongdoing. Families of 38 of the 47 lacrosse players have filed a lawsuit against Duke University for multiple offenses in the handling of the case.
In 2006, Alleva and his son were involved in a boating accident which left Alleva with an injured head. His son, J.D., was charged with operating a boat while impaired, however, was convicted of only reckless boating.