By LARRY VAUGHT
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes doesn’t know a lot about what is going on with LSU that has led to the suspension of both coach Will Wade and guard Javonte Smart after information surfaced about what Wade said to a FBI informant — not to mention another star freshman player, Nazr Reid, missing Saturday’s game with an undisclosed illness.
LSU is the No. 1 seed in this week’s SEC Tournament with no update yet on if Wade will coach or if Smart and/or Reid will play.
Barnes was asked about the LSU “situation” Monday. Here’s what he said”
“I don’t know enough about it. But I would like to think that whatever is going to happen, the right thing will be done,” Barnes said. “What I mean by that, the No. 1 thing in the spirit of competition is everybody plays on a level field.
“We know this isn’t the first situation that has come up in college basketball that’s gone on. If you’ve been in this business as long as I have, you’re not naive about any of it. You’re not. You like to think for the best. You’re always thinking about the student-athlete.
“One thing I will tell you, not everybody does the things that are out there sometimes, that are being said. There are a lot of guys in this business that have done things the right way for a long time. I’m not saying they’re perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
“I hate it for our game, I really do. I think this game has been great to so many people and what it does for so many. I just hate to see a cloud over college basketball. Hopefully going forward, and the only way it’s going to get solved, if someone is found guilty they have to pay the price, plain and simple.
‘I believe you’re innocent until proven guilty, but if you’re proven guilty there is a price to pay and you have to pay it.”