Former VCU coach Wade made “impermissible payments” to LSU recruits, per NCAA

Former VCU coach Wade made “impermissible payments” to LSU recruits, per NCAA
LSU head coach Will Wade (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - LSU head coach Will Wade arranged or offered “impermissible payments” to at least 11 recruits and those associated with them in exchange for enrollment at the school, the NCAA says.

The LSU athletics department is not commenting on the matter.

This marks the second time within a two year span that Wade finds himself in hot water with college sports’ governing body. In March of 2019, he was suspended after an FBI wiretap recorded him saying that he made a “strong-ass offer” to a recruit during a phone conversation with aspiring business manager Christian Dawkins. Wade was suspended and later reinstate by LSU.

Wade was the head coach at VCU from 2015-2017, leading the Rams to a 51-20 record over two seasons, including two NCAA Tournament appearances. The program won its first-round NCAA Tournament game over Oregon State in 2016, it’s third such victory since the 2011 Final Four run.

VCU director of athletics Ed McLaughlin said on Wednesday that the schools have investigated Wade’s time at VCU “a few different times.”

“I feel confident about what we’ve done so far,” McLaughlin said. “If new information were presented to us, I’d certainly go back and do that again.”

McLaughlin added that his main focus is how things are going with the athletic programs at VCU, and applauded the Rams’ compliance department and internal audit staff.

“You never go back from losing your integrity,” noted McLaughlin. “You never get that back once you do. I told our folks when I started here day one eight-plus years ago that they’d never be embarrassed to be associated with VCU and that’s held true.”

Two sources who were close to the VCU program during Wade’s tenure also say they were unaware of any payments being made to players.

This is a developing story and will be updated with the latest information.

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