LSU coach Will Wade discussed an ‘offer’ to a recruit with a key figure in corruption trial on a wiretap, a report says
LSU coach Will Wade was reportedly caught on a wiretap obtained by the FBI in 2017 discussing a “hell of an offer” to a prospective recruit with Christian Dawkins, a former aspiring sports agent who this week was sentenced to six months in federal prison for his involvement in the college basketball corruption scandal.
According to Yahoo Sports, the details of the offer — and to whom it was made — are both unknown. But conversation on the wiretaps between Dawkins and Wade indicate it could have been a discussion centered around current LSU point guard Javonte Smart, a 6-foot-4 freshman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and former top-50 prospect.
“I was thinking last night on this Smart thing,” Wade reportedly said in a conversation with Dawkins, which was caught on wiretap. “I’ll be honest with you, I’m [expletive] tired of dealing with the thing. Like I’m just [expletive] sick of dealing with the [expletive]. Like, this should not be that [expletive] complicated.”
Smart garnered nearly a dozen scholarship offers out of high school from the likes of Kansas, Alabama, Baylor and Florida State, according to 247Sports. In the summer of 2017, he committed to LSU and signed with the in-state Tigers four months later.
Further details caught on the wiretap between Wade and Dawkins reveal that Smart may have received an offer and taken time to mull it over. According to Wade, he himself went to Smart and made a “strong-ass” offer, but was unsure a month later about how said offer was conveyed to the family.
“Dude,” Wade continued to Dawkins, referring to the third party involved in the recruitment. “I went to him with a [expletive] strong-ass offer about a month ago. [Expletive] strong.
“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.”
Smart is averaging 11.4 points per game for the Tigers on the season.
Wade’s recruiting tactics have drawn the scrutiny of the NCAA and the feds during his stint at LSU. In late-February, Yahoo reported that Wade was expected to be subpoenaed for the upcoming college basketball corruption trial. At the last trial, Wade’s name was brought up using information via wiretap illustrating him having a discussion with Dawkins. The context of that discussion was not discussed.
Wade has maintained he never did business with Dawkins, saying explicitly in October, “I’m very proud of everything I’ve done as the LSU basketball coach, and I have never, ever done any business of any kind with Christian Dawkins.” But if the information reported in the wiretaps holds true, he could be in a heap of trouble – and not just with the NCAA .