LSU head basketball coach Will Wade broke his silence Friday evening after being suspended indefinitely from the program.
In the statement obtained by The New Orleans Advocate, Wade said that the reports out now "do not begin to tell the full story" and asked his team to maintain their focus and finish the season strong.
The full statement from Will Wade obtained by the New Orleans Advocate can be read below:
"Serving as the Head Basketball Coach at LSU has been the honor of my life. I love this university and all it stands for. From day one, I’ve been focused on building a winning program made up of excellent coaches and staff and a team of first-rate student athletes.
"I cannot comment at this time on various media reports, except to say that they do not begin to tell the full story. I understand the University had to take action before all the facts are in, but I would ask everyone to withhold their judgment until the record is complete.
"To my players and coaches, I support you 100%, and I will be with you in spirit as the season progresses. Your best response to this is to narrow your focus and make sure the last part of the season is the strongest part!"
The Yahoo report details a phone conversation recorded by the FBI in which Wade discusses his efforts to lure a recruit to the Tigers.
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The report says the FBI recording is of a conversation with 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.
In the report, Wade is described expressing his frustration with an unidentified third party handling the recruitment of player referred to only as "Smart." LSU has a freshman guard named Javonte Smart who is a former Louisiana high school player of the year.
The report also states that it is not clear if the offer Wade discusses would violate NCAA rules, or if the player and his family knew of, or accepted, the offer.
The Tigers finish up their regular season at home against Vanderbilt on Saturday with a chance to win the SEC's regular-season title.
The school issued a statement earlier in the day that said:
"Recent media reports regarding coach Will Wade are without question concerning to all of us. As such, we and university officials have taken deliberate and purposeful steps to fairly address and adequately address this situation. As we have done since media reports first surfaced months ago, we are closely coordinating with the NCAA with ever step. They have our full cooperation and we will continue to report to them all the facts and information on this matter.
"All of us at LSU share the obligation to protect the integrity of this institution, as such we have suspended Head Coach Will Wade indefinitely until such time as we can ensure full compliance with the NCAA, as well as institutional policies and standards. Assistant coach Tony Benford will assume the duties of interim coach."