After LSU basketball coach Will Wade was suspended in March, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards kept in contact with LSU officials as to whether standout Javonte Smart would be playing again, according to a report from NOLA.com.

Wade was suspended for declining to meet with university officials after media reports alleged illegal recruiting offers aimed at Smart. According to text messages obtained through a public records request and published on NOLA.com, Edwards reached out to officials about Smart's status on the team.

Edwards communicated via text messages with LSU Board of Supervisors chair James Williams and LSU President F. King Alexander, according to the report. Those messages were released to the newspaper. The governor also communicated with an LSU attorney, but those messages were not released citing attorney-client privilege.

Wade's suspension started on March 8, just one day after Yahoo Sports published information from a wiretapped conversation between Wade and Christian Dawkins. During the conversation with Dawkins, a basketball middleman, Wade allegedly said there was a "strong-ass offer" for Smart, who was then held out of games with the Tigers.

Edwards' lawyer said Wednesday that the governor was not trying to influence LSU's decision on playing Smart. Edwards asked about Smart's status on the team because a journalist had asked the governor about it, the governor's general counsel Matthew Block told Nola.com.

“(Edwards) was not trying to weigh in on whether he should or should not play. That clearly did not happen and would not have happened,” Matthew Block told nola.com.

Read the text messages and the full Nola.com report here.


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