Suspended Will Wade Will Not Speak to LSU Until FBI Investigation Concludes

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2019

LSU  coach Will Wade shouts during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Florida in Gainesville, Fla., Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Gary McCullough/Associated Press

Suspended LSU head men's basketball coach Will Wade will not speak to the university about his alleged involvement in a college basketball corruption scandal until after the FBI concludes its investigation.

According to ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach, Wade's attorney, Michael G. McGovern, sent a letter to LSU President F. King Alexander and athletic director Joe Alleva to inform them of the decision.

McGovern wrote that "upon conclusion of the pending [Southern District of New York] criminal investigation, Coach Wade will be happy to meet with you and LSU's Board of Supervisors and to answer any and all questions you may have."

Wade was suspended indefinitely last week after FBI wiretaps intercepted conversations between him and Christian Dawkins, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for funneling payments to the families of college basketball recruits.

It is believed Wade and Dawkins had conversations about LSU freshman guard Javonte Smart, who did not play in LSU's final game of the regular season against Vanderbilt because of his alleged involvement in the scandal.

In one conversation between Wade and Dawkins that was provided to ESPN and Yahoo Sports, Wade expressed frustration that his offer was not being accepted in an alleged reference to someone who represented Smart:

"I was thinking last night on this Smart thing. 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 s--t. Like, this should not be that [expletive] complicated.

"Dude, I went to [the handler] with a [expletive] strong-ass offer about a month ago. [Expletive] strong.

"The problem was, I know why he didn't take it now. It was [expletive] tilted toward the family a little bit. 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.

"It was a [expletive] hell of a [expletive] offer. Hell of an offer. ... Especially for a kid who is going to be a two- or three-year kid."

Now that Wade has opted against speaking to LSU officials until after the investigation, it is unlikely he will coach in the SEC tournament or NCAA tournament.

The Tigers are ranked No. 9 in the nation, and they hold the No. 1 seed in the SEC tournament after winning the regular-season title with a 16-2 record. LSU is set to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015 and for just the second time in the past 10 seasons.

Wade is in his second campaign as LSU's head coach after leading the Tigers to an 18-15 mark last season.