LSU has reinstated Will Wade as his men's basketball coach, Tigres athletic director Joe Alleva announced Sunday night.
Wade was suspended more than a month ago for not meeting with the school and answering questions about his relationship with broker-dealer Christian Dawkins. The two sides finally met on Friday along with the NCAA compliance officers, and Alleva said he was satisfied with Wade's responses.
"Coach Wade met with officials from the University and the NCAA on Friday," Alleva said in a statement. "During those meetings, he answered all the questions and denied any irregularities in relation to the allegations of irregularities recently reported in the college basketball recruitment.
"The University regrets that Coach Wade did not choose to comply with his obligations to LSU when he was asked to do so, but the seriousness of the accusations and Coach Wade's previous refusal to refute them could not be ignored without exposing the University and basketball. "A high-risk program. Protecting LSU and preserving our integrity must always be our first priority. Coach Wade's explanations and explanations offered during the meeting, in the absence of actual evidence of misconduct, satisfy his contractual obligation to LSU. "
Last month, ESPN and Yahoo Sports reported that in one of the telephone calls intercepted by FBI wiretapping, Wade expressed frustration at his inability to close what he described as a "strong offer" for a recruit. ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported that Wade was frustrated with a manager from Javonte Smart, who was then a top 50 pick in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and finally signed with the Tigers.
After the transcripts of the calls were published, LSU suspended Wade on March 8 and appointed interim coach Tony Benford. The Tigers secured the regular season title of the SEC the next day with a win over Vanderbilt. Benford led LSU, a 3-seed in the NCAA tournament, to Sweet 16 before losing to Michigan State.
"I feel humble and grateful to have returned to LSU," Wade said in a statement. "… I regret the circumstances that prevented me from meeting with the University before, I wish I had addressed these problems when the University requested a meeting for the first time, and I am grateful that you gave me the opportunity to do so last week. that without denying or explaining the media reports that accuse me of committing an infringement against LSU, I had no choice but to suspend myself until I was willing to meet with them, and any other course of action would have put the program and the University in I hope to join the team again immediately. "
A judge of the US District Court is scheduled to do so. UU In New York, decide on Friday whether defense attorneys can summon Wade and Arizona coach Sean Miller to testify at a forthcoming federal criminal trial related to corruption in college basketball.
Earlier this month, federal prosecutors asked Judge Edgardo Ramos to prevent the coaches from testifying at the trial that is scheduled to begin on April 22. In that motion, prosecutors indicated that the defense attorneys intended to call both coaches to testify "about their participation in the NCAA rule – breaking paying student athletes."
Dawkins and the former Adidas Merl Code consultant face bribery charges involving badistant coaches in Arizona, State of Oklahoma, and USC.
Wade took over LSU in the spring of 2017 after two seasons in VCU and two seasons in Chattanooga. He went 18-15 in 2017-18 and then led LSU to a 25-5 record this season before being suspended.
Since the end of the season, LSU has seen five players enter their names in the NBA draft: Smart, Tremont Waters, Naz Reid, Skylar Mays and Emmitt Williams. With the new rules of the NBA draft, players can return to school even after signing with an agent.
ESPN's Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.