LSU Suspends Hoops Coach Will Wade Indefinitely As FBI Probe Unfolds

LSU announced that they are suspending basketball coach Will Wade indefinitely after being caught on wiretap discussing “offers” to recruits.

Will Wade, in his second season as the head basketball coach at LSU, has led the Tigers to a Top Ten ranking this year with a 25-5 record. They’re tied for first in the SEC with 15 conference wins and only two losses. The Tigers host Vanderbilt on Saturday in their regular-season finale.

But LSU announced that they are suspending Wade indefinitely after reports surfaced that he was caught on wiretap discussing “offers” to recruits.

The news of Wade’s suspension has put a damper on what’s been a banner year for basketball in Baton Rouge.

The young coach was reportedly caught talking with Christian Dawkins, the ex-middleman in the basketball world who has been found guilty and will serve jail time for his role in the college basketball corruption scandal. 

In one of those discussions, Wade expressed frustration about his inability to close the deal on a “strong-ass offer” for a recruit.

“Recent media reports regarding Coach Will Wade are without question concerning to all of us,” LSU President F. King Alexander and athletic director Joe Alleva said in a statement. “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,” the statement continued. “Assistant coach Tony Benford will assume the duties of interim coach.”

The calls between Dawkins and Wade occurred in 2017 when the FBI was monitoring one of Dawkins’ cellphones as part of the federal government’s clandestine investigation into college basketball corruption.

“I was thinking last night on this Smart thing,” Wade reportedly said about the recruitment of freshman guard Javonte Smart, a top 50, 6-foot-4 recruit from Baton Rouge who is averaging 11.5 points per game for LSU this year. “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.”

“Dude, 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.”

“It was a [expletive] hell of a [expletive] offer,” Wade continued. “Hell of an offer. … Especially for a kid who is going to be a two- or three-year kid.”

In a different call, Wade joked with Dawkins that the player would be compensated more than the “rookie minimum.”


LSU can clinch at least a share of the SEC regular-season title this weekend when they play Vanderbilt.

But what started off as a great season and a resurgence for LSU hoops is now clouded in charges of corruption and illicit payments.

Stay tuned, as there’s sure to be more news coming regarding the latest developments in college basketball’s unfolding scandal around securing recruits, agents and the sneaker companies that control the AAU apparatus.

Back to top