LSU suspends Wade after wiretap

Will Wade. CT file photo.

Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor

Former Men’s Basketball coach Will Wade was suspended indefinitely by LSU March 8 after being caught on an FBI wiretap.

Yahoo Sports reported that a 2017 phone call by Wade to Christian Dawkins — the middleman between Adidas and the universities — was a part of a FBI wiretap on Dawkins’ phone about former top-50 recruit Javonte Smart.

“I went to him with a [expletive] strong-ass offer about a month ago,” Wade told Dawkins on the phone according to Yahoo Sports. “[Expletive] strong.”

Smart was held out of the Tigers’ final game of the regular season against Vanderbilt March 9.

Dawkins had talked with Wade three times between June 19 and June 30, 2017, and Smart announced his commitment to LSU on June 30, 2017. Dawkins was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the first trial tied to the pay-to-play scandal. He is currently serving a six-month sentence for the charge.

Wade has been subpoenaed by the defense for the second trial on April 22. Dawkins is being tried for charges similar to those he faced in the first.

“Specific to our previous coach’s tenure, Athletic Compliance has reviewed all recruiting activity during his tenure to determine whether any inaccuracies or red flags existed,” VCU Athletics said in a statement. “An independent review was also conducted. We found no red flags or causes for concern.”

Because Wade left Richmond to coach the Tigers, the Rams were slated to play LSU in a home-and-home series over the next two seasons. His VCU contract included a clause that if he left to coach another team, the two teams would have to play a home-and-home series within three years of him leaving.

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