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Rick Barnes hopes “right thing” is done at LSU but also believes if proven guilty “there is a price to pay”

Rick Barnes (Jeff Houchin Photo)


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.”


  1. Barnes is right. If the investigation finds Wade guilty, they (LSU) gotta pay the piper. I hope Calipari is never found to have cheated or ever will cheat. A lot of this garbage we are seeing has been brought on in college basketball today IMO because of these super duper” traveling teams, and these so called 5 star OAD types every college coach is out to sign anyway they can. I think many times these coaches get sucked into the recruiting process that completely goes off the rails. Big money is involved too. College basketball needs a complete overhaul. How many other Div. 1 coaches are cheating right now and will continue and will never get caught?

  2. Duke is too smart to get caught. North Carolina got caught with the bodies and a smoking gun and the NCAA said it never happened. Arizona, Kansas and Lousyville got caught and the NCAA says Hang Em! A clear double standard exists and will always exist with the current NCAA. God, forbid that we ever get caught, the NCAA will come after us with the death penalty from the jump. The NCAA has become too political and too embroiled in the billions that TV has brought to the game. Throw in the sports betting that the Mafia basically controls and you have the mess that we call college basketball.

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