Suspended LSU coach Will Wade pleads for right to return to coaching his team

LSU coach Will Wade, suspended amidst recently allegations of involvement in a pay-for-play scandal, says he's ready to resume his duties as the Tigers basketball coach.

On Thursday, Wade issued a statement to Sports Illustrated announcing he informed athletic director Joe Alleva, school president F. King Alexander and the LSU Board of Supervisors that he should be allowed to coach again. Wade has not responded to multiple attempts for comment this week from CBS Sports. 

"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," Wade said. "With the benefit of a week to consider the circumstances, I believe University officials should allow me to resume my duties." 

Wade last week was accused in a Yahoo Sports report being caught on an FBI wiretap discussing an "offer" to a perspective recruit believed to be LSU freshman Javonte Smart. He was indefinitely suspended by the university after declining to meet with school officials the day after reports surfaced, and missed LSU's SEC-clinching win over Vanderbilt.

Wade on Wednesday declined to be interviewed by NCAA or LSU officials related to the allegations, and his attorney insists that will be the case when the FBI's probe into corruption in the sport reaches completion. 

"Declining to be interviewed was a difficult decision for me," Wade continued, "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 my 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."

No. 9 LSU opens SEC Tournament play on Friday at 1 p.m. ET; it will face the winner of the Florida-Arkansas game. 

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