Will Wade won't be coaching in yet another NCAA tournament his LSU squad likely would've qualified for, but a new HBO documentary is set to keep his name in the headlines.
FBI wiretaps of phone conversations between Wade and Christian Dawkins, a federally convicted basketball middleman, will be played as part of in HBO's "The Scheme," a source familiar with the case who'd seen a rough cut of the HBO program confirmed.
Partial transcripts of the wiretapped phone conversations — including Wade discussing a "strong-ass offer" for a recruit identified as LSU guard Javonte Smart, and another in which he tells Dawkins "I need to shut the door" before discussing another prospect who Dawkins "would have funded" — had been publicly reported before.
But the actual audio recordings of Wade making those comments to Dawkins haven't been played publicly before and were not aired in federal court.
The documentary, which also includes interviews with Dawkins and lays out a wide-ranging federal investigation into NCAA basketball corruption, is scheduled to be released March 31.
In an advance screening of the documentary obtained by The Advocate on Tuesday, nothing was revealed that hasn't been reported earlier.
The ensuing scandal from the corruption case cost then-Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino his job and also ensnared the programs at Arizona, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State and Kansas, among others.
Robert Munson, LSU's senior associate athletic director, declined Tuesday to comment on the forthcoming documentary.
NEW YORK — An aspiring sports business manager and an amateur basketball coach were convicted of bribery conspiracy Wednesday at a trial that …
Conversations about Wade between Dawkins and Arizona coach Sean Miller are also played in the documentary, the source confirmed. The wiretaps were not played in open court and jurors never heard directly from Wade.
Dawkins is currently free while appealing his federal convictions on a number of counts of fraud and bribery. He received separate sentences of one year in federal prison for bribery and three months for fraud.
Those recorded conversations include a discussion about the recruitment of former Tigers and current Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid, something that was brought up during two separate federal trials for Dawkins and several ex-Adidas executives who were also convicted of allegedly conspiring to funnel cash to college players.
In one call, Dawkins joked with Miller that Wade was "driving up the price" of amateur college players and speculated Reid had floated fake offers from Arizona in an effort to squeeze more cash out of Wade and LSU.
Reid denied receiving payment at the scouting combine ahead of the NBA draft after his lone season with LSU.
Wade initially refused to meet with LSU officials after the contents of the FBI wiretaps were leaked to the press, prompting an indefinite suspension during the 2018-19 season.
Wade missed the Tigers' final regular-season game against Vanderbilt — during which they clinched the SEC title — and the team's entire run to the Sweet 16.
LSU basketball's Naz Reid chose to come to Baton Rouge for everything but money.
Assistant coach Tony Benford took the reins during that run, which ended with a loss to Michigan State.
Wade eventually agreed to meet with university officials and was ultimately reinstated April 14. Then-LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said Wade "denied any wrongdoing" at the meeting and that Wade's "explanations and clarifications offered during the meeting, absent actual evidence of misconduct, satisfy his contractual obligation to LSU."
Alleva resigned from his post three days later.
As part of his return to the LSU bench, Wade agreed to modifications to his contract and gave up $250,000 in bonuses for winning the SEC and making it to the NCAA tournament. The rewritten contract also includes a clause making it easier for LSU to fire Wade if the NCAA Committee on Infractions issues a notice of allegations of a Level 1 or Level 2 violation.
Wade's third season at LSU was shortened again, this time because of the spread of coronavirus, which led to the cancellation of many conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament.
LSU basketball coach Will Wade forfeited performance bonuses for his team’s SEC championship season and agreed to contract changes making it e…
This year's team faced its adversity on the court, a group that included Smart, now a sophomore, who also had his name included in the FBI wiretaps.
LSU finished 21-10 overall and 12-6 in the Southeastern Conference and was projected to be a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament.
For the full report from Yahoo! Sports, click here.
Amie Just contributed to this report.