LSU coach Will Wade found it 'a little bit surprising' a tape of him discussing a recruit was played in corruption trial
Wade said he's never done business of any kind with Christian Dawkins
LSU coach Will Wade said Wednesday, just one day removed from , that it was "a little bit surprising" to hear his name come up at one of the biggest federal trials in NCAA basketball history.
His response, albeit brief, came Wednesday at SEC's media day where he chose not to elaborate on the wiretapped call and his alleged potential nefarious recruiting intentions brought to light -- but not admitted -- to court on Tuesday.
"I'm not really going to react to what the defense attorney said," Wade said via the Courier-Journal. "... I know the judge didn't let it in. But I will say, I'm very proud of everything I've done as LSU's head coach.
"I'm very proud of what we've done at LSU, and I or we have never, ever done business of any kind with Christian Dawkins."
According to the aforementioned wiretapped call involving Wade and Christian Dawkins, the latter of whom is among the three individuals currently on trial for alleged corruption within the sport, LSU's coach discussed the recruitment of Balsa Kprivica. He is a center from Florida who, according to 247Sports, is a top-75 prospect in 2019. Wade was caught saying he could get Dawkins what he needed, but the context of the conversation is fuzzy.
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As for Wade, the LSU head coach is on a phone call with Dawkins discussing the possible recruitment of Balsa Koprivica, a center who plays in Florida and is one of the top players in the Class of 2019.
"[Wade] is communicating to Christian Dawkins that he can get him what he needs – meaning money – if a player in Florida, Balsa Koprivica, agrees to play for LSU," said Casey Donnelly, one of Gatto's attorneys. Donnelly then read a portion of the transcript of the call.
"Would you want Balsa?" Dawkins asked.
"Oh, the big kid?" Wade responded.
"OK, but there is other [expletive] involved in it," Wade said. "Wait, I've got to shut the door … I can get you what you need but it's got to work."
The conversation was not admitted to evidence at court Tuesday as part of the trial, but it does raise questions about his potential involvement with Dawkins in the nefarious black-market recruiting scene.
The Tigers brought in the No. 51 recruiting class in 2016 before Wade was hired as LSU's coach, but have improved each year. In 2017, LSU's class ranked 17th nationally, with two four-star signees. LSU's 2018 class ranked fourth nationally and included two five-star pledges and two four-stars.
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