On Friday, LSU basketball announced that they would suspend head coach Will Wade indefinitely after a phone conversation between Wade and Christian Dawkins, a basketball middleman, that had been tapped by the FBI back in 2017. The conversation went as follows:
“I was thinking last night on this Smart thing,” Wade said. “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.”
With no elaboration on Javonte Smart, who is now a freshman stud at LSU.
“Dude,” Wade continued to Dawkins, referring to the third party involved in the recruitment, “I went to him with a [expletive] strong-ass offer about a month ago. [Expletive] strong.”
“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.”
Dawkins responded by saying, “Hmmmm.”
“It was a [expletive] hell of a [expletive] offer,” Wade continued. “Hell of an offer.”
“OK,” Dawkins said.
“Especially for a kid who is going to be a two- or three-year kid,” Wade said.
The FBI also cited many other coaches in this including Bruce Pearl, Auburn, and Sean Miller, Arizona.
What really sucks about this whole thing is this might be the best LSU team since Shaq was there. As an LSU fan, this might be the first year since I was alive that I feel like we have a legitimate chance to make a deep run in the tournament (at least more than when we had Big Baby, Tyrus Thomas, and Marcus Thornton).
All of that being said, LSU did the right thing. It was obvious that they had fault and that there was a clear issue coming from Wade. So for them to be the first to lay the hammer down was incredibly smart. I think that’s a consensus amongst everyone. The SEC made a statement that they supported LSU and the basketball program in this.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this young LSU team deals with this, and see if they can adapt. I hope they can, but it’ll be very hard. Will Wade was a stellar coach and was a great leader.
This brings the question of whether college programs should be able to pay their players and allow them to profit off their likeness. However, that is a question for another day.