The LSU basketball program has indefinitely suspended head coach Will Wade after a transcript from a FBI wiretap was released. Reported by Pat Forde, Pete Thamel and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, Wade was caught in what seemed to be a recruiting business deal.
During a conversation over the phone with infamous NCAA violator Christian Dawkins, Wade made it clear that was a “strong ass offer” on the table for whatever recruit he was pursuing.
Wade was quoted saying, “I’ll be honest with you, I’m [expletive] tired of dealing with the thing. Like I’m just [expletive] sick of dealing with the [expletive]. Like, this should not be that [expletive] complicated.”
Wade continued on in saying, “I went to him with a [expletive] strong-ass offer about a month ago. [Expletive] strong.” Wade also elaborated on the prospect’s choice not to accept the offer at the time.
“The problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was [expletive] tilted toward the family a little bit,” Wade continued. “It was tilted toward taking care of the mom, taking care of the kid. Like it was tilted towards that. Now I know for a fact he didn’t explain everything to the mom. I know now, he didn’t get enough of the piece of the pie in the deal.”
LSU announced his suspension on Friday, March 8.
“Recent media reports regarding Coach Will Wade are without question concerning to all of us. As such, we and university officials have taken deliberate and purposeful steps to fairly assess and adequately address this situation. As we have done since media reports first surfaced months ago, we are closely coordinating with the NCAA with every step. They have our full cooperation and we will continue to report to them all facts and information on this matter. All of us at LSU share the obligation to protect the integrity of this institution, as such we have suspended Head Coach Will Wade indefinitely until such time as we can ensure full compliance with the NCAA, as well as institutional policies and standards. Assistant coach Tony Benford will assume the duties of interim head coach.”
Wade continued his rant in saying that he made a “hell of an offer.”
Now, it’s Dawkins response that causes immediate concern. He stated, “Especially for a kid who is going to be a two- or three-year kid.” His response implies that the unnamed player would receive unspecific benefits (most likely money) through the duration of his collegiate career, which violates NCAA regulations.
That unnamed player is speculated to be current LSU freshman guard and former top-50 recruit Javonte Smart. Smart was never considered a one-and-done prospect. Scouts mutually understood Smart’s tenure at LSU would exceed past his freshman year before entering the NBA Draft. Hence, Dawkins previous statement saying, “Especially for a kid who is going to be a two- or three-year kid.”
Dawkins was previously involved in FBI wiretaps involving NCAA bribery’s and was sentenced to prison six months in prison due to his involvement. The Yahoo report also states “Dawkins is known to be on FBI wiretaps during the late spring and summer of 2017.” Yahoo also stated that current competitor ESPN cited court documents, and found that Dawkins had “at least three calls with a cellphone number belonging to LSU coach Will Wade, each of which occurred between June 19, 2017, and June 30, 2017.”
I guess it was just a convenient time for Smart to announces his commitment to LSU on June 30, 2017.
As for Wade’s immediate future, it looks very grim. LSU President F. King Alexander and current athletic director Joe Alleva announced his suspension today.
The current allegations against Wade don’t bode well for LSU’s basketball program. Since the Tigers poached Wade from VCU they have endured immediate success. They currently have an overall record of 25-5 and sport a conference record of 15-2 which lands them at the top of the SEC. Wade’s adds his resume with a 43-20 career record at LSU, continuing to prove his coaching dominance. However, the question now is should his dominance be discredited due to his unethical behaviors and actions that violate NCAA regulations.