It’s impossible for a reasonable person to read the transcript of a phone call recorded by federal wiretap between LSU head basketball coach Will Wade and shoe company pimp Christian Dawkins and not conclude Wade was at least aware one recruit was being paid to commit to the Tigers.
Here’s the most damning part of the transcript as reported by Yahoo Sports:
“The problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was [expletive] tilted toward the family a little bit,” Wade continued. “It was tilted toward taking care of the mom, taking care of the kid. Like it was tilted towards that. Now I know for a fact he didn’t explain everything to the mom. I know now, he didn’t get enough of the piece of the pie in the deal.”
Dawkins responded by saying, “Hmmmm.”
“It was a [expletive] hell of a [expletive] offer,” Wade continued. “Hell of an offer.”
Wade was suspended in early March after he refused to answer questions from his employer about the transcripts and allegations of NCAA rules violations.
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LSU released a statement regarding Wade’s reinstatement:
“The University regrets that Coach Wade did not choose to fulfill his obligations to LSU when he was first asked to do so. However, the seriousness of the allegations and Coach Wade’s prior refusal to refute them could not be ignored without exposing the University and basketball program to great risk. Protecting LSU and preserving our integrity must always be our first priority. Coach Wade’s explanations and clarifications offered during the meeting, absent actual evidence of misconduct, satisfy his contractual obligation to LSU.”
Smells like a team of lawyers wrote the statement rather than a boss who believes in his employee. Makes you wonder you runs the university and what priorities are most important to a supposed educational institution. The lesson here is, “win, deny, cash checks!”
If you’re mystified as to how the transcript of Wade talking to Dawkins doesn’t serve as proof of misconduct, you’ve got company – a lot of company.
Some will blame the NCAA for not acting decisively against Wade and LSU in light of the transcript, but the NCAA should only be the last line of authority in determining whether rules were broken. The fault at this moment lies at the slimy feet of LSU president F. King Alexander, who is happy to delegate discipline of his employee to the NCAA.
As a result of the reinstatement, LSU appears to be an institution more focused upon wins than integrity. LSU just concluded its most successful basketball season since a 1981 run to an SEC Championship and trip to the Final Four.
This was Will Wade’s second year running LSU’s program, and the speed of the rebuild has been stunning. In 2016-2017, the Tigers finished 10-21 overall with a 2-16 record in the SEC. This year – 28 wins and 18-2 in conference.
Draw your own conclusions.