Suspended Wade to meet with LSU, NCAA reps

Suspended LSU basketball coach Will Wade is scheduled to meet with university and NCAA officials on Friday, more than a month after the school suspended him for not answering questions about his relationship with aspiring agent Christian Dawkins, a central figure in the federal government's investigation into college basketball corruption.

LSU senior athletics director Robert Munson confirmed to ESPN that Wade is scheduled to meet with LSU and NCAA officials in Baton Rouge.

"I can confirm there is a meeting scheduled tomorrow with Coach Wade, LSU officials and the NCAA within the parameters LSU first requested in early March," Munson said in the statement. "University officials have made clear their expectation for full cooperation and transparency in this first step in a process toward resolution."

Sports Illustrated first reported details about the meeting.

Wade's unwillingness to discuss what he said to Dawkins in telephone calls that were intercepted by FBI wiretaps caused the school to suspend him from coaching in the Tigers' games in the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

Last month, ESPN and Yahoo Sports reported that in one of the phone calls intercepted by FBI wiretaps, Wade expressed frustration about his inability to close what he described as a "strong-ass offer" for a recruit.

According to people familiar with the calls, Wade was frustrated with a handler of current LSU guard Javonte Smart, who was then a top-50 recruit from Baton Rouge. Smart didn't play in LSU's 80-59 victory over Vanderbilt in the regular-season finale, which clinched the Tigers the SEC regular-season title, but he was cleared to play in the postseason.

"I was thinking last night on this Smart thing," Wade told Dawkins during one of the calls. "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 s---. Like, this should not be that [expletive] complicated."

"Dude," Wade continued during the call, "I went to [the handler] 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. 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.

"It was a [expletive] hell of a [expletive] offer. Hell of an offer. ... Especially for a kid who is going to be a two- or three-year kid."

In a different telephone call with Dawkins, Wade joked that the player would be compensated more than the "rookie minimum."

Wade told Dawkins that he had made deals for "as good of players as him" that were "a lot simpler than this."

After transcripts of the calls were published, LSU suspended Wade and named Tony Benford interim coach.

"In this case, the simple truth is I have been placed on leave because I exercised my right not to submit to a joint LSU/NCAA interview on the exact same subject matter at issue in an impending federal criminal trial in New York," Wade said in the statement. "My legal counsel advised the University that it would be wholly inappropriate for me, or anyone, to submit to an interview under these circumstances."

Last week, federal prosecutors asked a federal judge to prevent Arizona's Sean Miller and Wade from testifying at an upcoming bribery trial involving college basketball corruption, in which Dawkins is a defendant.

In a motion filed by U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman on Friday, his office asked U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos to preclude the defendants from "offering evidence that they had relationships with other coaches who they did not bribe" and "from putting the NCAA and the NCAA's rules on amateurism on trial."

"These statements, along with the defense counsel's proffer that they intend to elicit testimony from the subpoenaed coaches about their involvement in NCAA rule-breaking by paying student-athletes suggests that the defense may resort in this trial to arguments that pose a risk of attempting to garner the sympathy of the jury, and, therefore, would be categorically inappropriate," the government's motion said.

"The defendants are on trial for serious federal crimes, and the defendants should not be able to use this trial as a referendum on the merits of the NCAA's rules or the state of college basketball, in an impermissible effort to garner sympathy with the jury."

Ramos hasn't yet ruled on the government's motion.

Wade, 36, has a 43-20 record in two seasons at LSU. Five LSU underclassmen -- Smart, Naz Reid, Skylar Mays, Tremont Waters and Emmitt Williams -- have announced their intentions to at least test the NBA draft.