BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — No. 10 LSU is holding Javonte Smart out of Saturday’s season finale against Vanderbilt because the freshman guard was mentioned in a wiretapped phone call about recruiting that resulted in coach Will Wade’s suspension.
LSU senior associate athletics director Robert Munson says the decision not to play Smart was “done only in an abundance of caution, and as a result of the lack of clarity provided regarding media reports and reported wiretaps” involving Wade.
Munson’s statement says the decision “does not suggest, in any way, wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing on Javonte’s part or his family.” Munson also says Javonte and his family “have been fully cooperative and open” with university officials.
LSU suspended Wade on Friday, a day after Yahoo published excerpts of Wade’s phone conversations with a person convicted last year of funneling money to the families of basketball recruits.
Smart is a former Louisiana player of the year. This season he has averaged 11.5 points and scored 29 in a victory over Tennessee.
A win over Vanderbilt gives LSU at least a share of the Southeastern Conference title.