The entire sports world is anticipating a steep punishment for the LSU program following its alleged involvement in college basketball’s recent pay-for-play scandal uncovered by the FBI.
And last night, legendary analyst Dick Vitale said LSU had officially received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA before backtracking a bit, later noting that the notice will “arrive soon.”
“Sources tell me that LSU has been notified by the NCAA of the various allegations that they have been charged with involving the men’s basketball program,” Vitale said initially.
Almost immediately after, Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger shut down the report, with LSU senior associate AD Robert Munson telling him the school had not yet received a Notice of Allegations.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) June 4, 2020
After being shot down by a few national and local analysts, Vitale followed it up with a clarification of his own.
“An update on the charges that LSU will face from the NCAA in basketball will arrive soon,” Vitale said. “Delaying the notice is that a summary disposition involving the football program must be resolved. One thing that is certain: LSU basketball will face allegations.”
Following March’s debut of HBO’s The Scheme – a documentary highlighting former agent and middleman Christian Dawkins and his involvement in the corruption inside college basketball – Vitale said both LSU and Arizona were set to face significant penalties in the near future.
With FBI wiretaps revealing damning audio clips of LSU head coach Will Wade, Arizona head coach Will Wade, and Arizona assistant Book Richardson discussing payment with potential recruits, Vitale believes the Tigers and Wildcats are set to take significant hits from the NCAA.
“Many naysayers claim the NCAA enforcement staff will not do anything in relation to the sleazy stuff shown during The Scheme and the hoop trials,” Vitale said at the time. “Trust me, reliable sources tell me that LSU and Arizona basketball will be hit with MAJOR allegations by the NCAA.”
In the documentary, Wade is heard discussing payment to current LSU guard Javonte Smart.
“I was thinking last night on this Smart thing,” Wade told Dawkins in the audio clip. “I’ll be honest with you, I’m f***ing tired of dealing with the thing. Like I’m just f***ing sick of dealing with this s**t. … What do you think? Because I went to him with a f***ing strong-ass offer about a month ago. F***ing strong.
“The problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was f***ing tilted towards the family a little bit,” Wade continued in the video. “But I mean it was a f***ing hell of a f***ing offer. Like, hell of an offer. Especially for a kid who is going to be a two or three-year kid. I’ve made deals for as good a players as hm that were f***ing a lot simpler than this.”
Prior to the back-and-forth about Smart, Wade also added that he could afford to pay a player “better than the [NBA] rookie minimum.”
“We could compensate him better than the rookie minimum,” Wade said in the wiretapped audio. “We’d give him more than the D-League.”
While the specifics of when and how a Notice of Allegations is going to come is uncertain, it’s fairly clear that the NCAA will send one LSU’s direction sooner rather than later.