One day after it was reported by Yahoo Sports that LSU head coach Will Wade was overheard on federal wiretaps discussing a recruiting “offer” with FBI defendant Christian Dawkins, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva announced that the coach has been suspended indefinitely.
Assistant coach Tony Benford will serve as interim head coach as the school works through its investigation of the recent report.
“All of us at LSU share the obligation to protect the integrity of the 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,” Alleva said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
During his taped conversation with Dawkins, Wade was quoted as referring to a recruiting process as the “Smart thing.” It isn’t explicitly stated in the conversation, but it could appear that this is in reference to then-recruit and current LSU freshman guard Javonte Smart. LSU has not announced anything regarding Smart’s status for Saturday’s regular season finale against Vanderbilt.
Wade issued a statement to the New Orleans Times-Picayune in which he stated that the reports surrounding his suspension “do not begin to tell the full story. I understand the University had to take action before all the facts are in, but I would ask everyone to withhold their judgment until the record is complete.”
Wade isn’t the only coach to be sanctioned by his school in the aftermath of the latest Yahoo Sports report. TCU assistant Corey Barker and Creighton assistant Preston Murphy have both been placed on administrative leave by their respective schools. Per the report Barker and Murphy are alleged to have been offered $6,000 bribes by Dawkins.
Dawkins and former adidas grassroots executive Merl Code Jr. were sentenced to six months in prison earlier this week, with former adidas executive James Gatto receiving a nine-month sentence. All three defendants have filed appeals of their respective sentences.