It’s been a busy day for LSU’s lawyers, to say the least. This morning Will Wade broke his silence via a written statement and a few hours later LSU was mentioned in the Our Lady Of The Lake embezzlement investigation.
First, As The Wade Turns. The suspended LSU basketball coach made his first comments about the case since Yahoo! broke the story last week early this morning. Wade announced his intentions on remaining head coach at LSU after this is all done and explained his reasoning behind not speaking to the university while involved as a witness in the FBI’s case.
To which LSU’s legal team responded:
This sucks for the basketball team based on timing alone, but I have to say I think both parties are doing the right thing here, at least in terms of their own interests. If Wade did do something illegal, LSU wants to be in CYA mode and do everything it can to prove to the NCAA that they handled the situation right if it comes to that to avoided the dreaded and dubious lack of institutional control. It seems Wade just wants to follow his lawyer’s advice and play nice with, you know, the FBI. I personally cannot find it in me to fault either party, but the timing of it all could not possibly be any worse.
On to the topic of Javonte Smart, LSU is continuing their investigation and will burn the candle at both ends tonight to make sure they get everything squared away before the Tigers’ 12 p.m. quarterfinal match against Florida in the SEC Tournament.
#LSU latest on Javonte Smart - "LSU’s efforts to clear Smart for tomorrow are in full-press mode and may go into the night. The effort is in multiple states and involves dozens of people focused entirely on getting it done.” @WAFB— Jacques Doucet (@JacquesDoucet) March 14, 2019
If the Wade situation will not be resolved until the season is over (which is looking more and more likely), then this will at least be a big salvage for the team’s immediate future. Even if Smart isn’t cleared for the Florida game at noon, it’s looking like the university is doing everything in it’s power to make sure he plays again this season.
But the the hits don’t stop there. This afternoon, the university found itself linked to the Our Lady Of The Lake embezzlement scandal, confirming rumors that had been bubbling for a minute.
.@TheLakeHealth audit findings on Funes allegations: $810K lost "due to fraudulent activity." "The forensic investigation also revealed two questionable issues that warranted we notify legal counsel for LSU." #lalege #lsu #lagov— Elizabeth Crisp (@elizabethcrisp) March 14, 2019
Rumors indicated that some of this money was involved in Bagman activities and the innuendo — i.e., used to pay prospective athletes. LSU shot that notion down and downplayed the situation by claiming that one of the matters wasn’t a compliance issue at all and they had reported the other matter last year, which they say was the hiring of a former student athlete’s parent.
If that’s the case, then there really shouldn’t be anything to worry about. If the case was already reported to the NCAA, then this doesn’t really put LSU in any more hot water. But still, the timing of this to happen amid all the Wade drama was incredible.