LSU suspends basketball coach Will Wade amid investigation of recruiting tactics

LSU basketball coach Will Wade has been suspended indefinitely.
(Gary McCullough / Associated Press)

Louisiana State University has suspended basketball coach Will Wade indefinitely amid reports about his alleged conversations with a person convicted last year of funneling money to the families of recruits.

LSU Chancellor F. King Alexander and athletic director Joe Alleva said in a joint statement Friday that assistant Tony Benford will assume interim head coaching duties until LSU can ensure that Wade’s recruiting tactics have been in full compliance with NCAA and university policies.

Tenth-ranked LSU is in the midst of one of the more successful seasons in program history and can clinch at least a share of the SEC regular-season title with a victory Saturday over Vanderbilt.

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A Yahoo report on Thursday included excerpts of what it said was a wiretapped phone conversation between Wade and Christian Dawkins, who is one of several people convicted in October of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for funneling illegal payments to families of recruits to Louisville, Kansas and North Carolina State. Dawkins, who also is a defendant in a federal bribery case scheduled for trial scheduled for April 22, was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison.