LSU guard Javonte Smart, whose recruitment by coach Will Wade has reportedly been linked to an FBI wiretap, will sit out Saturday’s regular-season finale against the Vanderbilt, according to multiple reports.
The story was first reported by Stadium.
Wade was suspended indefinitely by the university Friday after reports that FBI wiretaps intercepted telephone calls between the coach and aspiring business manager Christian Dawkins about frustration to close a “strong-ass offer” for a recruit.
According to people familiar with the calls, Wade was frustrated with a handler of Smart, who was then a top-50 recruit from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Now a freshman, Smart is averaging 11.5 points and 3.3 rebounds for the No. 10 Tigers, who are 25-5 and tied for first in the SEC with a 15-2 record.
ESPN has independently verified the calls between Dawkins and Wade, which occurred in 2017, when the FBI was monitoring one of Dawkins’ cellphones as part of the federal government’s clandestine investigation into college basketball corruption.
Yahoo Sports first reported details about the contents of one of the telephone calls on Thursday.
“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 [expletive]. 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,” Wade continued. “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.”
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.