Amidst suspension, Wade and LSU issue statements

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BATON ROUGE -- LSU basketball head coach Will Wade released a statement Thursday morning asking the LSU Board of Supervisors to lift his suspension.

He said he originally accepted the decision by athletic director Joe Alleva and president F. King Alexander to be placed on administrative leave, however, is now asking to resume his position as head coach.

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

Wade said the Board of Supervisors placed him on leave because he did not agree to a joint LSU/NCAA interview regarding the ongoing FBI investigation. He added his legal counsel advised that it would be “wholly inappropriate” to agree to an interview under the circumstances.

"To be clear, however, all I’ve done is follow the prudent advice of 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," Wade said.

Thomas Skinner, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel, also released a statement Thursday morning. It read:

“Coach Will Wade has yet to deny any wrongdoing to us or publicly. Absent that, the university is in a very difficult position with regard to compliance with NCAA requirements, and until Coach Wade talks to university administration about this, he remains suspended. There is a standing offer for him and his attorneys to meet with LSU officials.”

Wade was suspended by LSU athletic director Joe Alleva on Friday, Mar. 8.

Wade’s attorney, Michael McGovern, sent a letter to the university Tuesday indicating the coach would be happy to meet with LSU officials after the Southern District of New York (SDNY) completes its criminal investigation.

"What I’m asking for is the right to do my job while exercising my constitutional rights. I don’t think that’s too much to ask," he concluded.

The LSU basketball team left Wednesday en route to Nashville to begin SEC tournament play as the No. 1 seed.