I thought it was dumb of LSU AD Joe Alleva to jump to conclusions without any proof of wrong doing other than a few words alluding to things on tape, and I stand by that. If there was enough there, Wade would have been fired on the spot with cause and the school would not have to pay him another cent.
Instead, Wade is still being paid by the school because there is a lack of leadership at the school and the administration doesn’t know anything outside of Yahoo’s reporting.
However, according to SI’s Ross Dellenger, formerly of The Advocate in Baton Rouge, school officials were blindsided by the Yahoo report, which I find incredibly hard to believe.
School officials were somewhat blindsided by the Yahoo! report, multiple sources say. University leaders spoke to Wade about the matter earlier this year following initial reports linking him to the FBI probe, and he assured them that what had already been made public represented the full extent of his involvement. 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.
Wade’s refusal to speak with administration may be damning evidence, but the LSU administration’s ineptitude outweighs it.
Will Wade issued the following statement:
“Serving as the Head Basketball Coach at LSU has been the honor of my life. I love this university and all it stands for. From day one, I’ve been focused on building a winning program made up of excellent coaches and staff and a team of first-rate student athletes.
“I cannot comment at this time on various media reports, except to say that they do not begin to tell the full story. 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.
“To my players and coaches, I support you 100%, and I will be with you in spirit as the season progresses. Your best response to this is to narrow your focus and make sure the last part of the season is the strongest part!”
Look, if you’re an LSU fan, obviously you want Wade to come out ahead in this and if you’re a fan of any other school you want Wade and LSU to pay the price, but there’s nothing there right now.
Like I wrote earlier, I don’t believe suspending Wade was the right call at this point in the season or regarding this investigation. LSU plays on Saturday for a share of the SEC regular season title and now they’ll do it without their head coach, who should definitely be there.