NEW YORK, NY. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) – (4/19/19) It is unlikely that LSU head men’s basketball coach Will Wade will have to testify in an upcoming federal bribery trial involving college basketball recruiting.
A report from Law360 said a federal judge in New York City ruled that questions of coaches paying players was “irrelevant” to bribery charges against Christian Dawkins and Merl Code.
Those two men are currently facing federal charges stemming from an alleged bribery scheme where the two men would pay the families of high-profile basketball recruits and funnel bribery money to assistant coaches at universities.
The ruling comes days after Wade was reinstated as head coach after a more than month-long suspension.
The report goes on to say that Judge Edgardo Ramos reserved the right to change his mind about the decision during the trial which is scheduled to begin Monday.
Question of whether Arizona men’s coach Sean Miller paid his players is “irrelevant” to bribery charges against former hoops consultants Christian Dawkins and Merl Code, NYC federal judge says— Pete Brush (@PeteBrush) April 19, 2019
Defense attorneys for Dawkins and Code had reportedly subpoenaed coach Wade as well as Arizona men’s basketball coach Sean Miller to have them testify in the case.
At least three phone conversations between Wade and Dawkins were intercepted by an FBI wiretap.
A reported partial transcript of one of those phone calls was leaked and published by Yahoo! Sports.
In that transcript, Wade is reported to have discussed a “strong-ass offer” for a recruit and his family.
It is widely believed that the recruit in question was current LSU freshman Javonte Smart.
Wade was suspended in early March after he refused to meet with the LSU administration and NCAA officials to discuss the report and deny any wrongdoings.
The second-year coach missed LSU’s last regular season game as well as their post-season run, which ended in an 80-63 loss to the Michigan State Spartan in the Sweet 16.
Wade was then reinstated by LSU Sunday after he finally agreed to that meeting and denied any wrongdoing.