Now that one of the greasiest characters in the history of a notoriously sketchy sport has been dismissed, let’s take a moment to do two things.
First, let’s congratulate LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade on earning a special footnote in history. Has anyone ever been fired the day before his NCAA tournament-bound team finds out its Selection Sunday seeding and opponent? That’s a special level of repudiation. Wade earned all the humiliation that comes with it.
Second, let’s consider the collateral damage that went along with LSU’s craven and brazen enablement of the four-year Wade con job.
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
Consider aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins and Adidas consultant Merl Code, busted for their roles in a federal bribery scandal. Dawkins was on the other end of the phone when Wade was discussing his infamous “strong-ass offer” to land recruit Javonte Smart. Wade went on making millions as the coach of the Tigers for three years after the contents of that wiretapped call were released. Dawkins and Code are currently in federal prison.
Consider the Black assistant coaches who lost their jobs as the feds kept their investigative sights small, never putting Wade on the witness stand or pursuing charges against him. Wade was going to NCAA tournaments while they were pushed out of the profession.
Consider Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin and Georgia coach Tom Crean, both fired this week for not winning enough games in the Southeastern Conference. They were a combined 1–11 against Wade, with his continued employment tangibly affecting theirs.
Consider Florida coach Mike White, who is catching heat from the Gators’ fan base because his team is probably on the wrong side of the NCAA bubble. A January loss against LSU and Wade might be the difference between the NCAA and NIT.
Then, there’s former Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew, whose last loss to cement a winless SEC season in 2019 was a 21-point drubbing from LSU. Drew was fired not long thereafter.
And there’s Mark Turgeon, who had a mutual parting with Maryland early this season; a last-second loss against LSU …….