BATON ROUGE, La. — Suspended LSU coach Will Wade issued a long statement Thursday morning asking to be reinstated as the Tigers' head coach as it makes its postseason push starting this week with the SEC tournament and the NCAA tournament that follows.
Wade was suspended indefinitely by Athletic Director Joe Alleva after a Yahoo! report that quoted Wade as discussing a big "offer" to a prospect.
The school suspended Wade after he decline to meet with them on the advice of his attorney.
Wade's statement asks that he be allowed to coach while he exercises his "constitutional rights," adding that "I don't think that's too much to ask."
LSU responded to the statement, with a statement of its own from Thomas Skinner, the Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel.
"Coach Will Wade has yet to deny any wrongdoing to us or publicly. Absent that, the university is in a very difficult position with regard to compliance with NCAA requirements, and until Coach Wade talks to university administration about this, he remains suspended. There is a standing offer for him and his attorneys to meet with LSU officials.”
Here is the statement from Wade:
"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."