Recruiting Misdeed Lands Former LSU Will Wade a Heavy Penalty From NCAA
There were always rumors circulating around Coach Will Wade during his time at Louisiana State. That led to the successful head coach originally being suspended indefinitely as he was part of an FBI probe.
Those allegations did not result in Wade being terminated at LSU right away as a renegotiation of his contract helped extend his stay with the Tigers. The end came in 2022 and he was fired after the NCAA served the university of Notice of Allegations.
Even with all of that swirling around, Wade was hired as the head coach at McNeese State.
He will have to wait to make his debut at McNeese as he was handed a 10-game suspension for events that transpired during his tenure at LSU. Wade was also given a two-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA, a punishment reserved only for serious breaches of NCAA rules and regulations.
Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl and Houston’s Kelvin Sampson are coaches who bounced back after receiving show-cause penalties from the NCAA. There could have been even more severe penalties handed down by the NCAA.
McNeese Sticking With Wade
Any doubt about McNeese State’s intention to keep Wade as the head coach ended with a statement after the NCAA punishment was announced.
“We accept and respect today’s decision by the IARP in regards to Coach Wade,” said McNeese Director of Athletics Heath Schroyer in a release posted on the team’s official site. “Us are all happy this is finally behind us and we have clarity moving forward.
“Our team has been proactive from the beginning in respecting the NCAA’s process and in regards to protecting the integrity of our institution. That will not change moving forward.
“The enthusiasm around this program is at an all-time high and we are all excited about the future of McNeese Basketball with Coach (Wade) leading the way.”
McNeese State is coming off an 11-23 season. There are only six players listed on the McNeese State 2023-24 roster and that includes last season’s leading scorer Christian Shumate and No. 3 scorer Trae English. McNeese State added the University of Florida forward CJ Felder, Cincinnati guard Zach Harvey, guard Mike Saunders from Utah, UTSA guard DJ Richards, and South Carolina State guard Cam Jones to go along with junior college guard Javohn Garcia.McNeese State is priced at +300000 to win the 2024 national title.
Record of Success
Wade has won wherever he has gone. Of course, skeptics can point to the punishment he now faces as perhaps helping with the success enjoyed by Wade.
Still, he hasn’t had a losing season as a collegiate head coach.
Wade posted records of 18-5 and 22-10 in his two seasons at Chattanooga. That included a 27-7 conference record to finish second in the Southern Conference both in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
He moved to Virginia Commonwealth. After going 51-20 in his two seasons that included a share of the regular-season title in the Atlantic 10 Conference and NCAA tournament appearances in each of his two seasons with the Rams, he was hired at LSU.
The Tigers made it into postseason play four times in his five seasons and the only reason it wasn’t a perfect 5-for-5 was that the postseason national tournaments were called off due to the global pandemic.
Wade posted a 105-51 record at LSU (55-33 in the SEC). He led the Tigers to the Sweet 16 in 2019. Wade was suspended for the final five games of the 2018-19 season and did not receive credit for the results of those games.
Wade began his coaching career at Clemson, his alma mater. After stints as an assistant coach at Harvard from 2007-09 and VCU from 2009-13, Wade was hired to be the head coach at Chattanooga.
The transfers will help Wade and the Cowboys turn things around pretty quickly as McNeese State eyes the program’s first winning season since head coach Dave Simmons led the Cowboys to a 17-16 record during the 2011-12 season.
The question is will he jump back into a Power-5 head coaching job once the show-cause penalty levied by the NCAA expires? The hiring of Hugh Freeze as the football coach at Auburn is proof that as long as you come through with wins and losses, just about any past indiscretions can be forgotten.
Freeze resigned as the Ole Miss football coach after it was discovered that he made a series of calls to escort services using a university-owned cell phone.
Wade doesn’t have anything like that in his background so his stay at McNeese State doesn’t figure to be a long-term one.Follow us on Twitter
Can’t get enough? Here’s more!
- Duke Blue Devils Predictions: It’s National Title or Bust
- NCAA Future Bets: Don’t Sleep on Final Four Darling FAU in 2023-24
- Bob Huggins Retirement: Off-Court Issues End Coaching Career
- NCAA Basketball 2023-24 Rules Changes: Block and Charge Calls Could be Easier for Officials
- Caleb Love Stats: Former North Carolina Guard’s Busy Offseason Finds Him Heading West