LSU’s men’s basketball team wrapped up its season last week, bowing out of the NCAA tournament after advancing to the Sweet 16. But the drama isn’t over for the Tigers — not by a longshot — as the school and the team’s coach Will Wade continue to spar over Wade’s indefinite suspension.
Sports Illustrated reports that the sides are nearing a meeting after spending nearly a month at loggerheads, which may be just the first step in what could be a long reconciliation process.
Wade was suspended for his failure to cooperate with a university investigation into Wade’s alleged involvement in an ongoing recruiting scandal. Wade was reportedly caught on an FBI wiretap speaking about siphoning improper benefits to a recruit.
However, SI reports that Wade, fresh off of hiring Chicago-based attorney Steven Thompson — who has represented college coaches in other NCAA-related cases — may be preparing for a sit-down with LSU officials, the first such meeting since the phone call allegations came to light.
The move could pave the way for Wade to return, which would be a welcome sight among the LSU faithful, who reacted in an overwhelmingly negative way when Wade was sidelined. Many fans and boosters called for resignations or firings of athletic director Joe Alleva and president F. King Alexander, and some threatened to withdraw financial support for LSU athletics.
If Wade and LSU do agree to a meeting, such a meeting would likely also include NCAA investigators — who have requested to be a part of all interviews on this particular matter.