REPORT: Wade unlikely to return this season; Smart could return as soon as Friday, pending internal investigation

LSU head coach Will Wade likely won’t suit up for a basketball game with the Tigers again this season, according to a report from The Advocate released Wednesday.

The attorney of Will Wade — who was suspended by the program a day after a scathing report from Yahoo Sports revealed a second wiretapped conversation between the head coach and federally indicted college hoops middleman Christian Dawkins — told LSU that Wade would talk about the allegations only after the federal investigation into corruption in college basketball ended, according to the report.

Wade is expected to be subpoenaed by defense attorney’s in a federal college basketball corruption trial on April 22, and LSU officials told The Advocate in an editorial board meeting Wednesday that they will not reinstate Wade until he cooperates and speaks with representatives of the university.

With the NCAA Tournament and, thus, the season ending with the national championship game on April 8, it would seem interim head coach Tony Benford will have the reigns for the remainder of the season.

The report cites LSU athletics director Joe Alleva saying that Wade initially agreed to a conversation about the controversy, but later Wade’s attorney nixed the meeting that included Alleva, LSU president F. King Alexander, other LSU officials and NCAA investigators.

As a result, LSU felt it had no choice but to suspend Wade indefinitely, creating a stalemate between the head coach and the university.

Though the the future of Wade’s arrival looks grim, officials reportedly said freshman guard Javonte Smart could return as soon as Friday’s quarterfinal game between LSU and either Arkansas and Florida depending on how an ongoing internal investigation unfolds.

According to the report, LSU officials have questioned Smart, his mother and two unnamed people “who might be in the unnamed handler referenced in the wiretapped calls.”

All parties have cooperated with the university during the investigation.

About Tyler Nunez 360 Articles
Tyler Nunez was named Assistant Editor of Tiger Rag in September 2018. He covers LSU football and basketball and is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.

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