Will Wade reacts to LSU basketball receiving Notice of Allegations from NCAA

Mike Wilson
Lafayette Daily Advertiser
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TAMPA, Florida — Will Wade declined to comment Thursday on whether the Notice of Allegations that LSU received Wednesday could affect his future with the LSU basketball program.

The Tigers coach also did not comment on whether has seen the NOA and when asked a general question about the NOA.

“I can’t comment on any of that stuff," Wade said. "We haven’t been able to comment on it since everything started. I certainly look forward to commenting on it when it is all over. Until then, they won’t allow us to comment."

Wade has been under scrutiny since he was caught on a federal wiretap discussing making an offer to a recruit. The NOA pertains to the case, which is part of the 2017 scandal linked to recruiting malfeasance and other forms of bribery that included LSU, Arizona, Auburn, Kansas and Louisville.

An LSU spokesperson released a statement Wednesday acknowledging the notice.

"Per NCAA rules and procedures, LSU is unable to comment on any aspect of the ongoing case," the LSU statement said. "We will continue to cooperate fully with the (Independent Accountability Resolution Process) as we work together toward a resolution."

LSU beat Missouri 76-68 on Thursday to advance in the SEC Tournament. The Tigers will face Arkansas on Friday in the tournament semifinals.

"When stuff is swirling around, you’ve got to narrow your focus," Wade said. "You can’t worry about everything that is going on around you. You narrow your focus. We are here to play basketball. Whatever is going on doesn’t affect anyone on our team. Not one of our players was here hardly. It doesn’t affect anybody.

"We are here to play basketball. They are focused on basketball. We talked about narrowing our focus to basketball. We talked about this weekend.”

Wade was suspended in March 2019 after refusing to meet with LSU or NCAA officials about accusations of recruiting shenanigans. 

Wade was recorded on a wiretap stating he made a "strong-(expletive) offer" to former Tigers guard Javonte Smart. Smart was a highly recruited prospect out of Scotlandville High in Baton Rouge in 2017 who signed with LSU. Smart was represented by Christian Dawkins, who is finishing out an 18-month sentence on bribery and conspiracy charges.

Wade was reinstated in April 2019 after he signed an amended contract that allows LSU to fire him with cause should he be investigated for Level 1 or 2 NCAA violations.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at michael.wilson@knoxnews.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it. 

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