LSU has reinstated men’s basketball coach Will Wade, who had been , after he met with LSU and NCAA officials on Friday.
Wade was suspended over an alleged “offer” he made to a recruit that was caught on a wiretap in a conversation with Christian Dawkins, an ex-middleman who has been found guilty and will serve jail time for his role in the college basketball corruption scandal. According to LSU’s statement, Wade denied any wrongdoing in his meeting with officials.
“The LSU Athletics Department today agreed to reinstate Will Wade as head coach of the Tiger basketball program,” LSU said in a statement. “Coach Wade met Friday with University and NCAA officials. During those meetings, he answered all questions and denied any wrongdoing in connection with recently reported allegations of irregularities in college basketball recruiting.”
In the alleged wiretap in which Wade was caught discussing an offer with Dawkins was a discussion over paying a recruit believed to be LSU freshman Javonte Smart, who as a freshman last season averaged 11.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game for the SEC-winning Tigers.
“I was thinking last night on this Smart thing,” Wade, which was caught on wiretap. “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 was suspended one game before LSU’s regular season finale, which it won over Vanderbilt to clinch the SEC regular season crown outright. He did not return to coaching for the remainder of the postseason, where LSU advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Michigan State 80-63. LSU finished its season 28-7.