McNeese State suspends Will Wade to start 2023-24 season, amid ongoing NCAA investigation into ex-LSU coach
McNeese State Considers Suspension of New Men’s Basketball Team Head Coach Will Wade five games to start the 2023-24 season, according to reports on Tuesday by the Lake Charles, Louisiana couple, the media – American press And KPLK 7 News. The Cowboys hired Wade, 40, Sunday on a five-year, $1.255 million contract, while the fired former LSU Tigers head coach remains involved in an ongoing NCAA investigation that has uncovered alleged Level I recruiting violations.
“It doesn’t surprise me” Matt Norlander of CBS Sports tweeted Tuesday.. “McNeese is betting/hoping that this will mitigate any further punishment from the IRP. It’s a smart move amid a controversial hiring decision. I don’t know if it will work.”
Wade led LSU (2017-22) and VCU (2015-17) to six NCAA Tournament appearances in seven seasons.
According to the American Press, the NCAA is expected to impose a penalty in the coming months.
“I can’t touch on this process because it’s still ongoing,” Wade said at his opening press conference. “The university has done due diligence and you never know what’s going to happen, but we feel good moving forward.”
Kansas Got Head Coach Bill Self and assistant Curtis Townsend a voluntary four-game suspension to end the 2022-23 season amid an ongoing NCAA investigation. McNeese State is following suit.
“I respect the NCAA and the process,” said McNeese athletic director Heath Schroyer. through the American press. “We’ve done our due diligence and I want to be proactive with the coach and send a clear message to everyone that we’re taking this situation very seriously.”
McNeese State plays in the Southland Conference and has won 11-23 this season. After the departure of John Aiken, the Lake Charles program continued to search for coaches, and the Cowboys settled on one of the most popular names.
“Next year we’re going to be ready for a winddown period,” Wade said. “I’m not talking about some kind of overhaul or something like that. We look forward to winning and competing at the top of Southland at close range next year. This program needs to be revived. The area needs to continue its post-hurricane revitalization. … My career needs a revival after all that has happened. Let’s be honest.
In total, Wade has a 105-51 all-time record at LSU. He directed them to what would have been three consecutive bids for the 2018-21 NCAA Tournament, even though the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last March, LSU received notice of allegations arising from multiple investigations. including 2017 federal basketball investigation. Through sources, ESPN said the allegations related to Will Wade’s basketball program are “significant” but will not be made public until LSU complies with a public record request. The LSU case centers on an FBI tape in which Wade says he made a “strong offer” for a highly trained security guard. Havonte Smart in 2017.
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“This is a completely different job than three years ago,” Wade said. “McNeese Basketball is one of the best jobs in the country for one-offer leagues. We are funded at the top of the league, we have the best facilities, a passionate fan base and many other benefits built in. I won’t make excuses why we can’t win and win big. Frankly, there is no excuse. The days of celebrating tournament participation at conferences or accepting mediocrity in all of our sports, let alone basketball, are over.”
Robbie Weinstein contributed to this report.