Judge Edgardo Ramos of the Southern District of New York agreed with the motion put forth by federal prosecutors to block the attempts by Christian Dawkins' defense team to call LSU coach Will Wade and Arizona coach Sean Miller to the stand in next week's trial.
Ramos met with the attorneys from both sides this morning to announce his decision.
Prosecutors filed a motion on April 4 dissuading the judge from allowing the defense to offer evidence showing Dawkins had other relationships with coaches he did not bribe — Wade and Miller — thus making the case about NCAA rules, according to a report by ESPN.
"The defendants are on trial for serious federal crimes, and the defendants should not be able to use this trial as a referendum on the merits of the NCAA's rules or the state of college basketball, in an impermissible effort to garner sympathy with the jury,” the motion said.
This motion by the prosecution seems to back Wade’s claim in the fall that he had never done business with Dawkins. Dawkins is currently going to trial for bribing multiple coaches, but the motion by the prosecution specifically references the defense’s goal for bringing Wade to the stand and an attempt “to pull back the curtain on college basketball.”
“Defendant Dawkins has proffered that he intends to call both coaches to testify about how much influence, as a head coach, they have over their student-athletes and how Dawkins did not bribe them," the motion stated. "To the extent that the defendants, as Dawkins's counsel suggested, seeks to introduce evidence that they dealt with men's basketball coaches who they did not bribe, such evidence would constitute impermissible 'good acts' evidence and should be precluded."
The decision by Ramos is also in line with what the judge ruled in the original October case against Dawkins. The judge declined the defense attorneys’ attempts to enter into evidence a wiretap transcript of Wade talking to Dawkins about 2019 recruit Balsa Koprivica, claiming Wade and Koprivica weren’t on trial and thus the transcript had no relevance.
LSU made the decision to reinstate Wade on April 14, and three days later Joe Alleva stepped down as athletic director and was replaced by Scott Woodward.
Wade not testifying in the case, which begins April 22, seems to end the legal-side of his phone call with Dawkins, who Wade allegedly told he made a "strong-ass offer" to Javonte Smart. However, the NCAA said it will begin a further look into details involving Dawkins and college coaches after the federal trials conclude.
The NCAA and LSU have met with both Wade and Smart on separate occasions. Smart was cleared of any wrongdoing and played in both the Southeastern Conference and NCAA tournaments after being withheld from LSU's regular season finale against Vanderbilt.
Wade did not meet with the University originally in March due to possible legal ramifications in the upcoming trial, which led to his suspension. However, on April 12, Wade met with the school and NCAA officials.
“The LSU Athletics Department today agreed to reinstate Will Wade as head coach of the Tiger basketball program," said then LSU Athletics Director and Vice Chancellor Joe Alleva in a news release. "Coach Wade met Friday with University and NCAA officials. During those meetings, he answered all questions and denied any wrongdoing in connection with recently reported allegations of irregularities in college basketball recruiting."
“Coach Wade's explanations and clarifications offered during the meeting, absent actual evidence of misconduct, satisfy his contractual obligation to LSU. Accordingly, I have recommended that Coach Wade's suspension be lifted and that he should be allowed to resume his coaching responsibilities. President Alexander has accepted this recommendation.”