He said all you would expect him to say.
Embattled LSU basketball coach Will Wade, speaking publicly for the first time since he was suspended and then re-instated by the University, would not go very far when asked if a reported FBI wiretap was accurate, the one of him allegedly saying, he made a “strong ass offer” to a recruit believed to be LSU guard Javonte Smart.
“I understand you have to ask that,” Wade told a reporter at the SEC meetings in Destin.
“I can’t get into that. I addressed the latest situation. All of that other stuff, I can’t get into meeting. I can’t because of the confidentiality. Everything that was in that meeting was addressed with the NCAA and LSU that lead to my re-instatement.”
Wade did deny the latest allegation, one he said was made after his meeting with LSU.
The allegation said that Wade offered $300,000 for star freshman Naz Reid.
“My name came up again in the latest testimony in the latest trial,” said Wade.
“I said I am not going to get into addressing every media report. Some of them are so far out there, it doesn’t warrant me giving credence to it. But, I will say this on the latest report that wasn’t covered in my meeting with LSU. It is absolutely false and did not happen.”
In his time as LSU basketball coach, Wade has displayed supreme confidence. Some called it over the top.
And, Tuesday, Wade agreed.
“I have come off as a little brash, to be honest. That has rubbed some folks the wrong way, and that is my fault,” said Wade.
Wade said he must earn the trust of new LSU director of athletics Scott Woodward.
“I don’t know Scott.”
Wade’s amended contract with LSU says he can be fired with cause if he commits a level 1 or level 2 violation.
Wade will be criticized for saying little of substance at Tuesday’s press conference.
My question is, what did you want him to say?
He can’t offer specifics, and he was contrite.
But, it was another step, albeit a small one, in what he calls earning “trust.”
Wade is again recruiting well, and three key players from last year’s team, including Smart and Skylar Mays, say they will return.
If Wade can avoid legal and NCAA troubles, he could be on his way to a comeback.
He’s already survived longer than many thought.
The calendar is about to turn to June, and Will Wade is still the men’s basketball coach at LSU.