LSU has suspended head basketball coach Will Wade in the wake of accusations of paying players posted in an article Thursday by Yahoo! Sports.
LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander and Athletic Director Joe Alleva released a statement Friday announcing that Wade had been suspended indefinitely.
The statement reads in part:
“Recent media reports regarding Coach Will Wade are without question concerning to all of us. As such, we and university officials have taken deliberate and purposeful steps to fairly asses and adequately address this situation.”
The statement goes on to say that the university is fully cooperating with the NCAA and are reporting all facts and information on the matter.
That Yahoo report contained transcripts of an allegedly phone call between Wade and a college basketball middleman who is currently on trial in relation to bribery charges and corruption within college basketball recruiting.
Wade finally issued his own statement since the suspension:
“Serving as the Head Basketball Coach at LSU has been the honor of my life. I love this university and all it stands for. From day one, I’ve been focused on building a winning program made up of excellent coaches and staff and a team of first-rate student athletes.
He went on to say. “I cannot comment at this time on various media reports, except to say that they do not begin to tell the full story. I understand the University had to take action before all the facts are in, but I would ask everyone to withhold their judgment until the record is complete.
“To my players and coaches, I support you 100%, and I will be with you in spirit as the season progresses. Your best response to this is to narrow your focus and make sure the last part of the season is the strongest part!”
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey gave this statement in regards to the incident this afternoon:
“I support the action of LSU in its suspension of head men’s basketball Coach Will Wade. The information in recent news reports is very disturbing, if true. Considering the existing circumstances, LSU has taken appropriate action today while the investigation continues.”
LSU has announced assistant coach Tony Benford will take over the duties of interim head coach for the time being.