LSU statement: Ja’Vonte Smart will not play against Vanderbilt

LSU statement: Ja’Vonte Smart will not play against Vanderbilt
LSU guard Ja'Vonte Smart (Source: Josh Auzenne)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU freshman guard Ja’Vonte Smart will not play in Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt, according to a report by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

A reason was not given for Smart being out.

A statement from the LSU Athletics department confirms Smart will sit out of Saturday’s game. The statement said the move was made because of the “lack of clarity provided regarding media reports and reported wiretaps involving Head Coach Will Wade.”

Read below for the full statement:

The announcement was released following a report by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman. Goodman released the information on Twitter. It read:

“LSU guard Javonte Smart likely to be held out of tonight’s game against Vandy, source told @Stadium. Smart at the center of allegations involving LSU coach Will Wade and an offer to runner Christian Dawkins on wire-tap conversation.”

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Head coach Will Wade was suspended indefinitely Friday, a day after a report on Yahoo Sports indicated the FBI recorded a conversation between him and “recruiting middleman” Christian Dawkins.

The report stated on the call, Wade was frustrated with Dawkins because a recruit had yet to accept an “offer”:

“I was thinking last night on this Smart thing,” Wade said. “I’ll be honest with you, I’m [expletive] tired of dealing with the thing. Like I’m just [expletive] sick of dealing with the [expletive]. Like, this should not be that [expletive] complicated.”

“Dude,” Wade continued to Dawkins, referring to the third party involved in the recruitment, “I went to him with a [expletive] strong-ass offer about a month ago. [Expletive] strong.

“The problem was, I know why he didn’t take it now, it was [expletive] tilted toward the family a little bit,” Wade continued. “It was tilted toward taking care of the mom, taking care of the kid. Like it was tilted towards that. Now I know for a fact he didn’t explain everything to the mom. I know now, he didn’t get enough of the piece of the pie in the deal.”

Dawkins has been on several FBI wiretaps between the spring and summer of 2017.

Smart, who played high school basketball at Scotlandville in Baton Rouge, is the former No. 1 player in Louisiana.

He is averaging 11.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game this season.

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