DESTIN, FL (KATC) – For the first time in 82 days, Will Wade spoke during the SEC Meetings in Destin, Florida. Wade, understandably, was pelted with questions about a number of reported FBI wiretaps implicating him in a pay-for-play scheme in college basketball. But did he answer them? Depends on who you ask, and kind of how you ask.
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger has a more positive take away from Wade’s 16-minute press conference than others labeling Wade “apologetic, regretful, humbled and remorseful.”
For the first time in nearly three months, Will Wade talked.
He was apologetic, regretful, humbled, remorseful and …. admittedly not completely forthright. He sounded like a coach who got a talking-to from his #LSU bosses, because he did.https://t.co/YgTvHpLc1G
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) May 28, 2019
Wade did apologize for failing to cooperate with LSU when it began its investigation, which led to his suspension. Wade clearly pointed out that he would have been better served to speak with LSU. He stood behind the university’s decision to suspend him.
But the coach didn’t apologize for any of wrongdoings he’s been accused of. But why would he? Doing that would implicate him of a violation the official record says he didn’t commit. But Wade wouldn’t actually say that.
Wade outright denied a report involving payment for Naz Reid. In a recorded conversation Arizona assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson discusses a conversation he had with Wade about paying $300,000 for Reid. But that was the lone outright denial Tuesday.
Forde is more critical of Wade’s evasiveness than Dellenger.
Column: It had been 82 days since LSU basketball coach Will Wade answered questions from reporters. He offered no explanation for the "strong-ass offer," which seems to be perfectly fine with enabling LSU administrators https://t.co/apdFwB7w0M
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) May 28, 2019
In April Wade was reinstated by LSU after finally meeting with the university and NCAA officials. He used the confidentiality of that meeting to his advantage Tuesday, answering questions like this:
“I can’t get into the meeting because of all the confidentiality of the meeting and everything in the meeting and the confidence. But everything that you can think of was addressed in that meeting with LSU and the NCAA and that led to my reinstatement.”
That was Wade answering a direct question about whether or not he or his coaches have ever paid players.
Wade did say that he hopes one day all of the cards will be flipped over.
“I certainly want to get to a point where I can have full disclosure. We’re just not at that place right now,” he said.
So where are we? Apparently still in the healing process. “Obviously this has been a difficult couple of months for LSU and our basketball program. As the leader I’m here to start the process of rebuilding trust.”