Will Wade releases statement requesting reinstatement as LSU basketball coach, school responds

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Will Wade, the suspended LSU men’s basketball head coach, released a statement Thursday morning, asking to be reinstated:

“This morning, I advised President Alexander, Athletic Director Joe Alleva and the LSU Board of Supervisors that I would like to resume my duties as Head Basketball Coach. Last week, when the University decided to place me on administrative leave, I accepted the decision without complaint as I knew that they wanted time to reflect on the flurry of media reports. With the benefit of a week to consider the circumstances, I believe University officials should allow me to resume my duties.

“I understand that in today’s hyper-intense media environment it is extremely difficult for any organization, particularly a public university, to stand firm in the face of rumors, leaks and innuendo. In this case, the simple truth is I have been placed on leave because I exercised my right not to submit to a joint LSU/NCAA interview on the exact same subject matter at issue in an impending federal criminal trial in New York. My legal counsel advised the University that it would be wholly inappropriate for me, or anyone, to submit to an interview under these circumstances.

“Declining to be interviewed was a difficult decision for me, as I would like to cooperate fully with all parties, particularly LSU. To be clear, however, all I’ve done is follow the prudent advice of counsel to exercise my constitutional rights to due process. Given these facts, I don’t believe it is appropriate for me to be relieved of my duties. We have a great basketball program made up of excellent student athletes and quality coaches. The players who’ve given their all for this institution, the students and alumni who are devoted to LSU, and fans all across Louisiana and beyond deserve to see this team fulfill its destiny. I love LSU and everything it stands for. What I’m asking for is the right to do my job while exercising my constitutional rights. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”

Wade was suspended indefinitely by the university last Friday after failing to meet with school and NCAA officials following several reports which linked Wade to recruiting violations.

LSU responded Thursday, stating Wade has not denied wrongdoing and not done anything to change his current status:

In an SI report, LSU has officially stated that it is the school’s responsibility to demonstrate “institutional control” to the NCAAby taking “appropriate action.”

The statement comes on the eve of LSU’s first game in SEC Tournament. The top-seeded Tigers, regular champions of the SEC, enter the postseason with a 26-5 record.

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