The LSU Board of Supervisors ran a tight-lipped meeting Tuesday evening, mentioning only "potential litigation" before heading behind closed doors and telling reporters nothing as they headed home.
But members were expecting a briefing on embattled men's basketball coach Will Wade's return from suspension and situation at LSU in addition to discussing unrelated lawsuits involving the university, two sources with close knowledge of the board told The Advocate earlier Tuesday.
Wade was reinstated from an indefinite suspension Sunday by LSU athletic director Joe Alleva. The coach was sidelined for more than a month — missing LSU's run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament — after initially refusing to discuss leaked FBI wiretaps of his conversations with a federally convicted basketball middleman named Christian Dawkins.
After waiting more than a month to address reported FBI wiretaps with LSU and NCAA officials, Will Wade denied any wrongdoing and found himsel…
Neither Wade nor Alleva were at Tuesday evening's meeting with the LSU Board of Supervisors, but LSU President F. King Alexander and general counsel Tom Skinner headed into the closed-door meeting with the board.
It's unclear what aspects of Wade's standing at the university were discussed. Board members and LSU officials also revealed nothing about the "potential litigation" discussed, declining to identify the cases or provide any other details.
Wade's return came days after finally sitting down with Alleva and other top LSU officials — as well as NCAA investigators — to answer questions the wiretapped conversations.
Wade, 36, has become a popular figure among LSU fans in his two seasons at the school. He rebuilt a scuffling program into a SEC championship team and landed a number of highly touted recruits.
During the 37-day suspension of Will Wade, it was business as usual for the LSU men’s basketball coaching staff — both on and off the court.
But his ties to a sprawling college basketball corruption scandal — touched off by a lengthy FBI investigation into the sport — has clouded his tenure and raised questions about his longterm standing at LSU.
In the wiretapped calls, Wade told Dawkins about a "strong-ass offer" he'd made for a promising high school recruit — believed to be current LSU guard Javonte Smart — and griped that a person close to Smart was holding up the deal because he wanted a bigger "piece of the pie."
Wade initially agreed to meet with Alleva and Alexander in the hours after Yahoo! Sports and ESPN published the contents of the call on March 7. But Wade reversed course and backed out of a meeting, prompting his suspension.
"Based on Will Wade’s refusal to meet with us regarding the accusations published yesterday in the media, I hereby direct you to place Coach Wade on interim suspension immediately and indefinitely, pending further investigation," Alexander wrote to Alleva the next day in an email obtained by The Advocate through a public records request.
Will Wade was reinstated as the LSU men's basketball coach on Sunday night, ending a 37-day suspension.
In another wiretapped conversation, revealed at an October federal trial, Wade and Dawkins discussed a different highly regarded recruit — who's since committed to Florida State — in language that hinted at a potential pay-to-play deal.
The second-year LSU coach said the wiretaps "do not begin to tell the full story" but didn't deny wrongdoing or clarify his reported comments. LSU rebuffed Wade's requests to coach the team through the postseason, with Alleva and Skinner telling The Advocate Wade would remain benched until he answered questions.
The stalemate ended last Friday when Wade and his attorney came in for a meeting.
Alleva said in a statement that Wade answered "all questions and denied any wrongdoing in connection with recently reported allegations of irregularities in college basketball recruiting."
The coach's "explanations and clarifications offered during the meeting, absent actual evidence of misconduct, satisfy his contractual obligation to LSU,” Alleva added.