LSU’s Will Wade reportedly on wiretap talking recruiting ‘offer’
The federal investigation into corruption in college basketball isn’t done making headlines yet.
The latest came Thursday when Yahoo Sports reported that LSU coach Will Wade was on a wiretap discussing an “offer” he made to a recruit while federal prosecutors alleged that Christian Dawkins, the convicted would-be agent, made payments to assistants at two other schools, reported to be Creighton and TCU.
It’s been nearly 18 months since this investigation came public and the fallout has been more contained that originally thought, but these developments - and those expected to come in future court proceedings - are a reminder that there is still plenty of string to play out here.
For Wade, the transcript of a call with Dawkins looks potentially damning.
“I was thinking last night on this Smart thing,” Wade said according to Yahoo. “I’ll be honest with you, I’m (expletive) tired of dealing with the thing. Like I’m just (expletive) sick of dealing with the (expletive). Like, this should not be that (expletive) complicated.”
While it’s not explicit in the conversation, the “Smart thing” could appear to refer to Javonte Smart, a former top-50 recruit currently a Tigers freshman.
“I went to him with a (expletive) strong-ass offer about a month ago. (Expletive) strong,” Wade said, per Yahoo, of a third-party. “The problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was (expletive) tilted toward the family a little bit,” Wade continued. “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.”
Whatever the “offer” was or it was ever accepted is unclear, according to the Yahoo report.
Wade, who took over at LSU from VCU in 2017, is reportedly set to receive a subpoena for his testimony in the case.
Elsewhere, federal prosecutors issues a superseding indictment that alleges Dawkins made two $6,000 bribes to assistant coaches, which Yahoo reports are Preston Murphy of Creighton and Corey Barker of TCU. No new charges were filed by authorities.
Dawkins’ trial is scheduled to begin April 22.