Will Wade's 321-word, thrilling statement released Thursday morning was particularly noteworthy for what she did not include.
Nowhere does the suspended LSU coach take the trouble to say he did not do it.
He does not deny that he is trapped in a federal wiretap describing the "fierce proposal" he made to try to dislodge guard Javonte Smart. He does not try to describe this conversation as anything other than paying a promising recruit under the table for her to come to the LSU. He does not pretend to be innocent and does not insist that he did not break the rules of the NCAA.
What Wade does instead is almost unfathomable in the circumstances. Although Wade was caught cheating and refused to answer his employer's questions, he has the nerve to explain why LSU should reinstate him before the Tigers open match (26-5). ninth. SEC tournament on Friday.
"I understand that in today's extremely intense media environment, it is extremely difficult for an organization, especially a public university, to stand firm against rumors, leaks and innuendos. "said Wade. "In this case, the truth is simple: I was put on leave because I exercised the right not to submit myself to a joint LSU / NCAA interview on the same subject in dispute within the framework of A federal criminal trial in New York that had been hindered.Our legal counsel informed the University that it would be totally inappropriate for me, or for anyone, to submit to an interview in these circumstances.
"Refusing to be interviewed was a difficult decision for me because I would like to cooperate fully with all parties, especially LSU." To be clear, all I've done is to follow the cautious advice of the advice to exercise my constitutional rights in view of these facts, I do not think it is appropriate that I be relieved of my duties. "
If Wade deserves his audacity, however, he is as likely to train LSU in the SEC tournament as you and I. The university could only reinstate Wade if she decided to become totally illegal, knowing that the LSU basketball program was not very good and that the NCAA would probably leave this season and impose sanctions, whatever.
Apart from that, LSU has no choice but to sit Wade. His situation is different from that of all the other coaches captivated by the FBI's investigation into university basketball corruption, but who remains on the sidelines of the post-season. The evidence that he violated the rules of the NCAA is actually on tape.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Yahoo Sports was the first to report& nbsp; earlier this month, federal phone tapping intercepted Wade and basketball midfielder Christian Dawkins about an "offer" for Smart. Frustrated that the offer has not yet been accepted by a third-party affiliate recruited, Wade lamented that the third party did not receive a large enough share of the pie in the deal and that It is more "oriented" The player and his mother. data-reactid = "30"> Yahoo Sports announced for the first time earlier this month that federal phone tapping had intercepted Wade and basketball broker Christian Dawkins discussing an "offer" for Smart. Frustrated, this offer had not been finalized yet. accepted by a third party affiliated with the recruitment, Wade lamented that the third party was not awarded a "fairly large piece of the pie in the deal" and that she "was more" geared towards the player and his mother.
"It was a [expletive] a hell [expletive] offer, says Wade to Dawkins. "Hell of an offer. Especially for a child who is going to be a child of two or three years. "
<p class = "canvas-atom-canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Wade did not give any details about the Smart offer, but & nbsp;ESPN reported& nbsp; that the LSU coach joked with Dawkins on a different call saying that the player would be better paid than the "rookie minimum". "Data-reactid =" 32 "> Wade did not give details on the offer for Smart, but ESPN reported that the LSU coach had joked with Dawkins over a different call according to which player would be better paid than the "rookie minimum".
Of course, Wade has good reason not to explain himself until he has no choice but to speak at a federal trial later this spring. By not speaking, it gives him time to see what the federal investigators really have on him and allows him to continue cashing checks from LSU for a few more months.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "But LSU also has good reason to suspend an employee Tom Skinner, the general advocate of the school, insisted on this point & nbsp;in an interview with SI.com Thursday."data-reactid =" 34 "> But LSU also has good reason to suspend a surprised employee cheating on a tape, does not deny the allegations and refuses to explain." Tom Skinner, l & # 39; General counsel of the school, said forcefully that point in an interview with SI.com Thursday.
"In all that was said by Will and his associates last week, not once did they deny any wrongdoing," Skinner said. "As a university and employer, we have to hear our employee say," I did not do anything wrong, "or explain the circumstances, or admit that he did something wrong. We could not get to this point.
In the end, Wade did nothing to help himself on Thursday in public relations with the tonal-deaf statement he made.
When charges were laid against Sean Miller last year, the Arizona coach refuted them with defiance, saying he "never knowingly broke the NCAA rules" or "paid a rookie, a prospect, their family or their representative ".
Until now, Wade has not said anything like that. And that says a lot.