He may not have to testify, but that didn’t keep LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade’s name from coming up in a federal college hoops trial as a tape of a former Arizona assistant coach discussing a potential deal with Wade was played in court Monday, according to reports emerging from the trial.
On the tape, ex-Arizona assistant Book Richardson reportedly discusses a potential deal in which Wade would hire him in return for help securing forward Naz Reid, and mentions a potential “deal” for Reid that included $300,000.
Reid played a vital role in LSU’s run to a Southeastern Conference regular season championship and a trip to the Sweet 16 in his freshman season before declaring for the NBA Draft.
Wade has been under heavy scrutiny due to multiple wiretapped phone conversations between himself and Dawkins in which he seemingly discusses giving improper benefits to secure top recruits.
The most notable of these two leaked recordings, the transcript of which was released by Yahoo Sports on March 7, included Wade discussing a “strong-ass offer” to a third party related to Javonte Smart’s recruitment.
That report ultimately led to a more-than-five-week suspension beginning the next day after Wade initially refused to speak with LSU officials and NCAA representatives about the report.
LSU announced Wade’s reinstatement on April 14, two days after the long-awaited meeting, though his reinstatement came with a price. Amendments to his contract included the forfeiture of $250,000 in bonus money he was owed due to LSU’s regular-season and postseason success last season, and, more importantly, granted LSU the right to fire Wade with cause if the NCAA found him guilty with a Level I or II infraction.
As of Monday, no corroborating evidence has been provided in court connecting Wade to this potential deal, but the recording adds to a growing list of potential problems both Wade and the University may have to face in the future when the FBI completes its investigation and the NCAA begins its own.
Photo Credit: Terrill Weil
Adios Will Wade.