If the audio of him making a “strong-ass offer” for Javonte Smart wasn’t indication enough, the NCAA has uncovered more evidence that shows Will Wade paid players to come to LSU.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has documents from the NCAA that show that Wade arranged or offered “impermissible payments” to AT LEAST 11 prospects or those around them.
The documents say the NCAA’s enforcement staff received information that Wade “arranged for, offered and/or provided impermissible payments, including cash payments, to at least 11 men’s basketball prospective student-athletes, their family members, individuals associated with the prospects and/or nonscholastic coaches in exchange for the prospects’ enrollment at LSU.”
The documents are part of the NCAA enforcement staff’s request for LSU’s review to be handled through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP), which was formed for complex cases.
“Many of those factors are triggered by the actions of Will Wade, head men’s basketball coach at Louisiana State University,” NCAA vice president of enforcement Jonathan Duncan wrote in the request. “Some of his underlying actions gave rise to this case and his tactics during the investigation have delayed resolution dramatically. He is employed in a leadership position at LSU, yet the institution has been unable to secure his full cooperation and is accountable for his behavior.”
Earlier this year, the audio of Wade making former agent turned runner Christian Dawkins the famous “strong-ass offer” for Smart was included in the HBO documentary The Scheme.
“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.”
Hearing the Will Wade audio, compared to reading a quote.
Does it make a difference to you?
— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) April 1, 2020
Wade remains LSU’s head coach, despite a temporary suspension back in March 2019. In October 2018, he even told reporters he was surprised his name came up during the FBI’s investigation and claimed he had “never, ever done business” with Dawkins. In the documentary, Dawkins just tipped his hat to Wade for getting away with it all thus far.
“Just the audacity. You’ve got to take your hat off to him, man,” Dawkins said. “He not only didn’t get charged for anything, not only did the government have all of this information and evidence and nothing was happening on a criminal level, he also basically just said f— you to the NCAA and the university he worked for … and he still got to keep his job and make millions of dollars. It’s like the perfect storm.
“Will Wade is definitely a f—ing gangster for what he did.”
We’ll see what happens next.