Freshman guard Javonte Smart will not play Saturday for LSU amid a nationwide investigation into a pay-for-play scandal that has reached the Tigers program, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported.
The No. 10 Tigers (25-5, 15-2 Southeastern Conference) host Vanderbilt (9-21, 0-17) seeking at least a share of the league title for the first time since 2009.
LSU suspended men’s basketball coach Will Wade indefinitely Friday, one day after a report revealed that an FBI wiretap recorded him discussing a strong “offer” for a recruit.
That player is believed to be Smart.
A native of Baton Rouge, La., Smart was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2018 and ranked as the state’s No. 1 player by the 247Sports composite.
In his first year with the Tigers, he has played in all 30 games (17 starts) and is averaging 11.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 30.3 minutes per game.
Yahoo Sports first reported details Thursday about an alleged 2017 conversation between Wade and basketball middleman Christian Dawkins discussing an offer to a recruit.
Yahoo Sports, referencing a tape, said a conversation between the two shows Wade’s frustrations over a “Smart thing,” with the coach allegedly saying he was “sick of dealing” with it, and that it should not be all that “complicated.”
“The problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was (expletive) tilted toward the family a little bit,” Wade said, according to the report. “It was tilted toward taking care of the mom, taking care of the kid. Like it was tilted toward that. Now I know for a fact he didn’t explain everything to the mom. I know now, he didn’t get enough of the piece of the pie in the deal.”
On Friday afternoon, Wade released a statement that read, in part: “I cannot comment at this time on various media reports, except to say that they do not begin to tell the full story. I understand the University had to take action before all the facts are in, but I would ask everyone to withhold their judgment until the record is complete.”
—Field Level Media