Head coach Will Wade of the LSU Tigers calls a play during the first half of a game against the Texas A&M Aggies at Pete Maravich Assembly Center on February 26, 2019 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Wade was suspended over an alleged "offer" he made to a recruit that was caught on a wiretap in a conversation with Christian Dawkins, an ex-middleman who has been found guilty and will serve jail time for his role in the college basketball corruption scandal.
"Wade's explanations and clarifications offered during the meeting, absent actual evidence of misconduct, satisfy his contractual obligation to LSU", Alleva said. The Tigers then advanced past the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual Final Four participant Michigan State.
In his own statement, Wade said he was "humbled and grateful" to be back at LSU. "I intend to sit down with my student-athletes and co-workers to explain what has happened during the last 30 days and how I intend for us all to move forward". However, the seriousness of the allegations and Coach Wade's prior refusal to refute them could not be ignored without exposing the University and the basketball program to great risk. The two sides finally met Friday alongside NCAA compliance officials, and Alleva said he was satisfied with Wade's responses.
LSU suspended Wade the following day. Protecting LSU and preserving our integrity must always be our first priority. Comments from Joe Alleva and Coach Wade. Accordingly, I have recommended that Coach Wade's suspension be lifted and that he should be allowed to resume his coaching responsibilities. The university revealed the news via press release tonight. "I completely understand that without my denying or explaining the media reports accusing me of wrongdoing, LSU was left with no choice but to suspend me".