LSU administrators and Will Wade have reached a stalemate. Don’t expect the Tigers’ head basketball coach to return to the sideline anytime soon.
Wade was suspended by LSU after reports revealed the head coach on a wiretap discussing a “strong-ass offer” for a recruit that many believe is Javonte Smart. To lift the suspension, LSU administrators have on simple request — explain yourself. From The Advocate:
Athletic director Joe Alleva and other LSU officials made clear Wade could return this season if he changes his mind, agrees to a meeting, provides an explanation for his reported comments on the FBI wiretaps and denies wrongdoing.
“If he (Wade) decides to come in and talk and is persuasive, then Joe (Alleva) and the president … are going to be faced with the decision as to whether to reinstate him,” said Tom Skinner, LSU’s general counsel and vice president for legal affairs. “But … we’re not there yet.”
It’s a reasonable request, but it’s one Wade refuses to fulfill. Wade’s attorney told LSU officials he will not cooperate until after he testifies in the federal criminal investigation into corruption in college basketball. That testimony is not set to take place until April 22, two weeks after the National Championship game.
Wade initially planned to meet with university officials last Friday, but according to Ross Dellenger, he canceled the meeting after discovering NCAA officials would be present. The cancellation promoted administrators to suspend Wade indefinitely.
Even though Wade’s time at LSU is likely done, Javonte Smart could return to play in the SEC Tournament. Smart, his mother and two handlers were interviewed by the school and NCAA officials. The internal investigation is expected to be complete “today or tomorrow.”
LSU begins SEC Tournament at 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. Will Wade will not be anywhere close to Bridgestone Arena, but Smart could return to the Tigers’ starting lineup just in time for postseason play.