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Report: LSU’s Wade Mixed Up in Impermissible Payments

Jason Scott

NCAA documents reportedly say that LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade either offered or arranged “impermissible payments” to a number of potential recruits or people close to them, according to ESPN.

According to the documents obtained by ESPN, Wade "arranged for, offered and/or provided impermissible payments, including cash payments, to at least 11 men's basketball prospective student-athletes, their family members, individuals associated with the prospects and/or nonscholastic coaches in exchange for the prospects' enrollment at LSU."

Wade had previously been suspended and reinstated after reports emerged that he had been recorded discussing a “strong ass offer” made to a high profile recruit with Christian Dawkins, then an aspiring business manager. Wade had initially denied doing business with Dawkins.

NCAA enforcement staff have requested that the LSU basketball investigation be adjudicated through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP), which serves to handle complex cases. NCAA vice president of enforcement Jonathan Duncan wrote a letter in July claiming that the case meets the criteria for referring a case to the IARP. 

"Many of those factors are triggered by the actions of Will Wade, head men's basketball coach at Louisiana State University," Duncan wrote. "Some of his underlying actions gave rise to this case and his tactics during the investigation have delayed resolution dramatically. He is employed in a leadership position at LSU, yet the institution has been unable to secure his full cooperation and is accountable for his behavior."

As part of his reinstatement, Wade agreed to a renegotiated contract that provided additional protections to LSU if he is found to have committed serious violations. The new contract stipulates that if Wade is found to have committed a Level I or Level II violation, LSU can fire him for cause, and Wade would be unable to sue the school. In addition, Wade gave up a $250,000 performance bonus for the 2018-19 season.

LSU didn’t provide comment on the case, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

 

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