NCAA and college sports are always embroiled with devastating scandals that sometimes set the school’s programs back years from the Jerry Sandusky Penn State controversy to Rick Pitino’s Louisville.
When the NCAA comes down hard with an iron fist with sanctions on schools that violate rules, their admissions rate plummets and makes it harder to retain elite high school prospects. And every year it seems redundant because it’s the same thing but at a different school.
Now it’s LSU’s turn because coach Will Wade might be in serious trouble.
This year’s March Madness is shaping up to be a heck of a tournament. The great thing about this particular year is that there isn’t one team – or even several – that are leaps and bounds ahead of the pack.
There are more than a dozen teams who have legitimate shots at winning the National Championship especially with Duke star Zion Williamson being sidelined due to a knee injury against UNC.
This make the tournament a million times more exciting when its anybody’s tournament to win – unlike times in years’ past where it was clear that Villanova, Kentucky, Duke or UNC were clearly better than the rest.
And LSU is one of those teams that’s at the top of the SEC and ranked tenth in the country by the Associated Press.
Unfortunately for the student-athletes, they’re going to have to proceed into the tournament without their leader, Will Wade, because he’s been suspended indefinitely for a bombshell reason.
The FBI announced they intercepted a phone conversation between Wade and super sports agent Christian Dawkins about a “strong ass” offer that the LSU basketball coach allegedly made to an unknown prospect.
Wade said on the phone call, “I was thinking last night on this Smart thing. 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.”
It’s not clear specifically who Wade was referring to but it looks like it was their current Tiger four-star recruit Javonte Smart.
This is bad news for the LSU program because the coach just admitted to violating NCAA rules regardless if they don’t know exactly which player it is.
That’s why the school acted quickly and suspended the young coach indefinitely.
The statement read:
“Recent media reports regarding Coach Will Wade are without question concerning to all of us. As such, we and university officials have taken deliberate and purposeful steps to fairly assess and adequately address this situation. As we have done since media reports first surfaced months ago, we are closely coordinating with the NCAA with every step. They have our full cooperation and we will continue to report to them all facts and information on this matter.
All of us at LSU share the obligation to protect the integrity of this institution, as such we have suspended Head Coach Will Wade indefinitely until such time as we can ensure full compliance with the NCAA, as well as institutional policies and standards. Assistant coach Tony Benford will assume the duties of interim head coach.”
What a terrible waste of momentum considering that even when they had current NBA star Ben Simmons on the team three years ago, they still weren’t any good.
And Wade was a rising star in NCAA basketball that could’ve landed him in a top-tier program if a job was made available or even a head coaching spot in the NBA.
This won’t likely result in jail time for the coach but he’ll be hard pressed finding a job anywhere in basketball after these damaging revelations.