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ESPN reports what everyone pretty much already knew

Will Wade is paying recruits? You don’t say.

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when a significant portion of Vanderbilt’s fan base really, really wanted this guy to be Vanderbilt’s head basketball coach?

The NCAA says LSU men’s basketball coach Will Wade either arranged for or offered “impermissible payments” to at least 11 potential recruits or others around them, according to documents obtained Wednesday by ESPN.

The documents say the NCAA’s enforcement staff received information that Wade “arranged for, offered and/or provided impermissible payments, including cash payments, to at least 11 men’s basketball prospective student-athletes, their family members, individuals associated with the prospects and/or nonscholastic coaches in exchange for the prospects’ enrollment at LSU.”

I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

In other news, this is something that should never be said about you if you are a college basketball coach who would like to keep his job:

“I think the only way you can interpret someone in a head-coaching position saying that they made a strong-ass offer, they ain’t talking about a scholarship offer, bro,” Dawkins said in the film. “One hundred percent talking about money.”

In the film, Dawkins even applauded Wade for avoiding criminal charges and keeping his job.

“Just the audacity. You’ve got to take your hat off to him, man,” Dawkins said. “He not only didn’t get charged for anything, not only did the government have all of this information and evidence and nothing was happening on a criminal level, he also basically just said f--- you to the NCAA and the university he worked for ... and he still got to keep his job and make millions of dollars. It’s like the perfect storm.

“Will Wade is definitely a f---ing gangster for what he did.”

So here’s the situation. The NCAA says that college athletes, as amateurs, cannot be compensated for their ability to play a sport. We can debate all day whether that should be the rule, but so long as that is the rule, schools that flout the rules can and will be punished. The entire industry has evolved an acceptable way to make sure players get taken care of and while you may argue that it’s silly that we have such a workaround, it also means that programs and especially head coaches who openly break the rules will get absolutely hammered by the NCAA.

In other words, why on earth is Will Wade personally getting his hands dirty in this manner? Now we may have decided to hire Bryce Drew instead, and Bryce Drew nuked the basketball program in a completely different way, but at least we are not facing NCAA sanctions, and I think we can all agree that is a good thing.