What does HBO documentary mean for Will Wade?

UPDATE: April 1, 11:05 a.m. CST: Amie Just of the The Times-Picayune tweeted out a statement from LSU athletic director Scott Woodward regarding The Scheme documentary.


The Scheme documentary aired on HBO on Tuesday night to take us inside the mind of middleman Christian Dawkins, who walked us through what happens in college basketball recruiting. LSU head coach Will Wade was the biggest loser of the documentary from a basketball coaching perspective.

But will any of it matter?

The NCAA should be finalizing punishments soon for LSU, and you’d have to imagine somebody inside the NCAA office went all out for a subscription to HBO last night. So far the only punishment includes Wade being suspended by LSU indefinitely in March 2019 for refusing to talk with his bosses after a report came out with him quoted as saying he made a “strong ass offer” to a recruit. He was reinstated the next month.

We finally heard the secretly-recorded phone calls of Dawkins speaking with Wade, although none of it was new information. We’ve already seen the transcripts, and any non-LSU fan with a functioning brain would think they’re discussing paying players.

Here are a few of the audio clips released in the documentary with Wade and Dawkins talking on secretly-recorded FBI wiretaps neither were aware of. This first excerpt is referring to Jaron Blossomgame, who played for Clemson.

Will Wade: “Hopefully Blossomgame’s not blowing you up too much right now.”
Christian Dawkins: “Well listen, I mean fuck, he could be playing for LSU or some shit. He could have his fifth year of eligibility and if he doesn’t get drafted like Randolph Morris or some shit like that.”
Wade: “We’ll take that. We’ll take it.”
Dawkins: “I know you will. I know you will.”
Wade: “We could compensate him better than the rookie minimum.”
Dawkins: “You probably right about that, too.”
Wade: “We’d give him more than the D-League.”

Next up, we have the two talking about Javonte Smart, who is still playing for LSU. He was suspended for the regular season finale in the 2018-19 season when this initially came out and he returned for the SEC Tournament. This is the one where I have no idea how Wade will explain his way out of any wrongdoing by the NCAA’s standards, which is why he has played dumb whenever he’s asked about it.

Wade: “Alright, I was thinking last night on this Smart thing, like I’ll be honest with you, I’m fucking tired of dealing with the thing. Like I’m just fucking sick of dealing with this shit. What do you think? Cause I went to him with a fucking strong ass offer about a month ago. Fucking strong. Now the problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was fucking tilted towards the family a little bit. But I mean it was a fucking hell of a fucking offer. Like, hell of an offer. Especially for a kid who’s gonna be a two or three year kid. I’ve made deals for as good a players as him that were fucking a lot simpler than this.”

It’s pretty hilarious Smart is still on the team as a sophomore. I wonder how awkward that coach-player relationship is.

After these quotes, the documentary aired Wade’s press conference that said he’s never done business of any kind with Christian Dawkins.

“Just the audacity,” Dawkins said when being interviewed for the documentary. “You’ve got to tip your hat off to him, man. He not only didn’t get charged for anything, not only did the government have all this information in evidence and nothing was happening on a criminal level, he also basically said fuck you to the NCAA and to the university he worked for. Man, that was some G shit, and he said fuck you to the people who wasn’t with him and he still got to keep his job and make millions of dollars. It’s like a perfect storm. This is the life. They’re paying him a lot of money to win games, bro. The fuck is he supposed to do, lose? Will Wade is definitely a fucking gangster for what he did.”

Finally, let’s take a look at Dawkins and Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller talking about Wade while being secretly recorded by the FBI. They’re discussing Naz Reid, who played one year at LSU before heading off to the NBA.

Dawkins: “In essence, let me ask you this. Do you think you’ll get Naz Reid?”
Miller: “No, he’s going to LSU.”
Dawkins: “Okay, he’s going to LSU, so that helps.”
Miller: “We’re not even bringing him on a visit. He’s not even visiting. That’s all bullshit. Like, I’m looking at our recruiting board, he’s not even on it. I’ve never talked to the kid. All this fucking hype shit on the phone, it’s stupid. He just probably said, you know what, fuck you, I don’t want 75 I want 120, I may go to Arizona. That’s all that was.”
Dawkins: “I told [Arizona assistant head coach Book Richardson], I said Will Wade is like driving up the price of pussy. Cause he’s not even doing like real numbers.”
Miller: “I’ll tell you what, I’ll give him credit he got a big set of balls on him.”
Dawkins: “No, Will Wade doesn’t give a fuck, Sean.”

It’s incredibly ridiculous the FBI is involved in any of this, but it’s very clear Wade is not operating by NCAA rules with multiple instances of him referring to paying players.

The NCAA will have their say with whatever punishment comes from this, and you’d think a ruling would come sometime soon. It’s been 3 full seasons since the FBI came out aggressively leading everybody to believe this lead to a bigger scandal than it was. The trial ended nearly a full year ago, and there’s been enough time past that a damn documentary has been released.

I still don’t think Wade is losing his job. His teams are playing well for LSU standards in the 3 seasons he’s been there and if they wanted to fire him, they had plenty of reason to last year when he refused to talk with his bosses. It’s a miracle he came out of that with a job but like Dawkins said, Will Wade is definitely a fucking gangster for what he did.