On the day after Yahoo Sports reported NCAA enforcement officials have been looking into LSU basketball coach Will Wade's recruiting tactics, the Tigers’ first-year coach said Monday there the school has had “zero contact” with the NCAA.
Earlier in the day, the LSU athletic department issued a statement saying it “confirmed with NCAA officials that there is no active investigation into the men’s basketball program” that Wade took over last March.
“The facts are there’s been zero inquiries, there’s been zero contact by the NCAA to me, my staff, my players, our administration, our school,” Wade said in opening his twice-weekly news conference. “There’s been zero inquiries or contact made by the NCAA.”
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Earlier Monday, VCU, where Wade was the head coach for two seasons before accepting his current post, released a statement denying any NCAA investigation into recruiting irregularities while he was there.
The statements came in response to a Yahoo Sports report Sunday night that NCAA enforcement has been looking into Wade’s recruiting tactics for the past six months. The report said the investigation included his time at VCU.
“LSU has confirmed with NCAA officials that there is no active investigation into the men’s basketball program. LSU Athletics stands for full compliance and partnership with the NCAA and the SEC,” the school’s statement read.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, VCU athletic director Ed McLaughlin said his school found nothing problematic in its records and “no evidence of any wrongdoing” in its men’s basketball program.
After picking up highly prized point guard Tremont Waters late in the recruiting process last spring, Wade and his coaching staff have assembled the No. 3-ranked recruiting class in the nation for 2018.
Citing three sources with direct knowledge of the situation, Yahoo Sports reported Sunday night that the NCAA enforcement staff has been looki…
The four players scheduled to join the program next season — guard Ja’Vonte Smart and forwards Nazreon Reid, Emmitt Williams and Darius Days — are all ranked in the top 60 nationally on most recruiting charts.
Wade said he found out abut the Yahoo Sports report an hour and a half before it was posted.
“Obviously, you’re disappointed,” he said when asked for his reaction to it. “But it’s the way of the world these days. You just move on. … You have to focus on your program and your players.”
Wade was later asked about his “recruiting tactics” that were the focus of the reported NCAA investigation, which Yahoo said has stalled because of a lack of on-the-record specifics.
“We certainly work extremely hard at recruiting; it’s something we value in our program,” Wade explained. “The lifeblood of your program is recruiting the best athletes, the best fits for your school. We’re very, very thorough in what we do in recruiting.”
Wade, who addressed the report with his team before practice Monday, was more concerned with getting his Tigers ready for a key game at South Carolina on Wednesday night than talking about his recruiting tactics.
“You got to have thick skin if you’re going to do this job; that’s part of it,” he said. “You know, it comes with the times. It comes with coaching at the high level. You’re disappointed, but it’s part of it.”