LSU basketball coach Will Wade said he would like to return to action as soon as possible in a statement sent to various media outlets.
In the statement, Wade says he understands why the the university suspended him, but giving the circumstances and the time that has passed since then, he feels he should be able to resume his duties as the Tigers’ head coach.
The university indefintely suspended Wade on Friday amid reports linking him to potential recruiting violations.
The full statement can be read below:
This morning, I advised President Alexander, Athletic Director Joe Alleva and the LSU Board of Supervisors that I would like to resume my duties as Head Basketball Coach. Last week, when the university decided to place me on administrative leave, I accepted the decision without complaint as I knew that they wanted time to reflect on the flurry of media reports. With the benefit of a week to consider the cirumstances, I believe University officials should allow me to resume my duties.
I understand that in today’s hyper-intense media environment it is extremely difficult for any organization, particularly a public university, to stand firm in the face of rumors, leaks and innuendo. In this case, the simple truth is I have been placed on leave because I exercised my right not to submit to a join LSU/NCAA interview on the exact same subject matter at issue in an impeding federal criminal trial in New York. My legal counsel advised the University that it would be wholly inappropriate for me, or anyone, to submit to an interview under these circumstances.
Declining to be interviewed was a difficult decision for me, as I would like to cooperate fully with all parties, particularly LSU. To be clear, however, all I’ve done is follow the prudent advice of counsel to exercise my constitutional rights to due process. Given these facts, I don’t believe it is appropriate for me to be relieved of my duties.
We have a great basketball program made up of excellent student athletes and quality coaches. The players who’ve given their all for this institution, the students and alumni who are devoted to LSU, and fans all across Louisiana and beyond deserve to see this team fulfill its destiny. I love LSU and everything it stands for . What I’m asking for is the right to do my job while exercising my constitutional rights. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
The statement came less than 24 hours after report from The Advocate in which LSU officials, including athletics director Joe Alleva and president F. King Alexander, along with LSU general counsel Tom Skinner told an editorial board that Wade will not be reinstated without participating in the ongoing investigation.
LSU responded to Wade’s statement Thursday morning via a statement from general counsel Tom Skinner.
“Coach Will Wade has yet to deny any wrongdoing to us or publicly,” the statement reads. “Absent that, the university is in a very difficult position with regard to compliance with NCAA requirements, adn until Coach Wade talks to university administration about this, he remains suspended. There is a standing offer for him and his attorneys to meet with LSU officials.”