Published: Tue, March 12, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

No. 10 LSU holds out Smart in wake of Wade suspension

No. 10 LSU holds out Smart in wake of Wade suspension

"Recent media reports regarding Coach Will Wade are without question concerning to all of us". We are closely coordinating with the NCAA with every step. "They have our full cooperation and we will continue to report to them all the facts and information on this matter". Sources confirm that Wade refused to discuss the situation with LSU officials this morning, which prompted the school to suspend him indefinitely, with assistant Tony Benford taking over as interim head coach.

LSU improved to 26-5 on the season with a win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

Unsurprisingly, LSU suspended Wade on Friday.

Wade is quoted on a transcript of the call saying that he made a strong offer that was "tilted toward taking care of" the player and his mother, but that the third party who received the offer was unsatisfied with his "piece of the pie". He is averaging 11.4 points per game for the Tigers and has scored in double-figures in five of LSU's last six games, including a 29-point outburst in an overtime win over Tennessee, the other top team in the SEC. Amidst the recruiting violation allegations, Head Coach Will Wade was suspended indefinitely and freshman guard Javonte Smart was sitting out, while freshman forward Naz Reid was out because of an injury. Emmitt Williams jumped in front of an SEC Network camera and shouted out Wade and Smart - the latter of whom actually climbed a ladder and cut the net even though he might never play for LSU again because he might be the reason all of this is eventually vacated.

LSU Coach Will Wade, center, during a March game. Javonte is a valuable member of the team, the university and the LSU family. "But I think that's another thing that just makes this team special - our ability to, like coach Wade always says, narrow our focus and focus on the task at hand".

Head coach Will Wade of the LSU Tigers
Head coach Will Wade of the LSU Tigers

The call offered no details about the "Smart" reference, according to Yahoo.

I suppose there's a scenario where Will Wade denies ever breaking an NCAA rule, and everybody on the Javonte Smart side of things denies ever breaking an NCAA rule, and it's a cash transaction for which there is no paper trail, and the NCAA gets nowhere. Dawkins also is a defendant in a federal bribery case scheduled for trial scheduled for April 22, and Wade is expected to be called as a witness in that case.

"The problem was, I know why he didn't take it now, it was [expletive] tilted toward the family a little bit", Wade continued. Like it was tilted towards that. Like, this should not be that [expletive] complicated.

Wade told Dawkins that he had made deals for "as good of players as him" that were "a lot simpler than this". I understand the University had to take action before all the facts are in, but I would ask everyone to withhold their judgment until the record is complete.

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