Will Wade Agrees to Revised LSU Contract as Part of Suspension Reinstatement

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2019

BATON ROUGE , LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 26:  Head coach Will Wade of the LSU Tigers looks on as his team takes on the Texas A&M Aggies at Pete Maravich Assembly Center on February 26, 2019 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

LSU Tigers head basketball coach Will Wade agreed to multiple contract amendments as part of his April 14 reinstatement from an indefinite suspension.

On Wednesday, Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated reported Wade, who missed the 2019 NCAA tournament while the school investigated allegations of possible illegal benefits offered to recruits, agreed to waive 2018-19 performance bonuses and confirmed he won't file a lawsuit against the school if he's fired.

The 36-year-old Tennessee native will also accept a termination of his contract if any Level I or Level II NCAA violations are discovered by LSU or the NCAA infractions committee, per Dellenger.

"The amendment to Will Wade's contract represents a strong commitment by coach Wade to the integrity of the institution and to his continued cooperation in partnership with LSU," interim vice president for strategic communications Jason Droddy told SI. "We are pleased we were able to come to this agreement as we move forward in this process."

LSU originally suspended Wade on March 8, one day after Pat Forde, Pete Thamel and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports reported details of a wiretapped phone call between the Tigers coach and Christian Dawkins as part of the FBI's investigation into alleged corruption in college basketball.

Wade, who previously served as head coach of the Chattanooga Mocs and VCU Rams at the collegiate level, discussed a "strong-ass offer" he made to secure a prospect commitment. He talked about the involvement of a third party who may have been used as a financial intermediary, per Yahoo.

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

Tigers freshman guard Javonte Smart was held out of the lineup for one game as the school attempted to determine whether he was the prospect Wade discussed and whether he'd accepted any improper benefits. He was cleared of any wrongdoing and reinstated to the roster prior to the 2019 SEC tournament.

Smart declared for the 2019 NBA draft April 11.

Meanwhile, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva, who has since stepped down from that role and transitioned to the position of special assistant to the president for donor relations, said in the April 14 announcement of Wade's return the coach "answered all questions and denied any wrongdoing."

"Wade's explanations and clarifications offered during the meeting, absent actual evidence of misconduct, satisfy his contractual obligation to LSU," Alleva said.

Wade said he was "humbled and grateful" for the opportunity to remain with the Tigers.

LSU hired Scott Woodward, a Baton Rouge native who most recently served in the same position for the Texas A&M Aggies, to take over as its new athletic director. He signed a six-year, $7.95 million contract, per Brooks Kubena of The Advocate.

Wade owns a 43-20 record across two seasons with the Tigers. His contract runs through June 30, 2023.