McNeath State University’s recently hired men’s college basketball coach Will Wade has been suspended for 10 games next season, leaving Wade’s former Southeastern Conference powerhouse Louisiana State’s football and basketball coach. The NCAA’s long investigation into the program has come to an end.
A review board ruled Thursday that LSU failed to monitor its flagship program. The program allowed ex-LSU wide receiver and NFL star Odell Beckham Jr., who improperly poured money into recruits and paid hush money to silence recruits for misbehavior. It turned out that it was. , handed out wads to players after a National Championship football game in January 2020.
But independent arbitrators have done little to strengthen voluntary school-imposed penalties other than extending college probation for three years. They also didn’t name Wade for the most infamous charges. It was a brazen scheme to lure recruits with illicit payments, explained by Wade in a federal wiretapping. Yahoo first reported It was later broadcast on HBO’s documentary.
However, according to former judge Bruce Myerson, who chaired the independent commission, the NCAA refused to allow the federal government to obtain recordings or transcripts, so the commission did not have enough trust to punish Wade. He said he didn’t have the information he could.
Another formal charge that was dismissed for lack of evidence involved Wade directing payments from a bank account in his wife’s name to a friend of a recruit’s family, in return for directing potential clients to LSU. But Wade argued this well because he was not a regular user at the university. Because the account was jointly owned by his wife and mother, he could not force the account records to be turned over to NCAA investigators.
The committee also clarified a formal complaint alleging that former assistant coach Bill Armstrong offered to provide the rookie’s family and colleagues with $300,000 in cash, as well as a job, an apartment and a car. Couldn’t find any evidence. Player’s cousin.
The most serious offense was Wade’s failure to inform university officials of an alleged blackmail in which his ex-fiancé, a former player, threatened to go to the NCAA with a list of hiring violations Wade had committed. .
Ultimately, however, Wade was punished primarily for lying, misleading remarks, and repeated delays in filing investigative documents.
Wade has been suspended for 10 games, banned from recruiting off-campus and has other recruiting restrictions for two years, but for a team that relies on transfer portals to build its roster, These limits may not have much impact.
The NCAA decision came more than four years ago when Yahoo reported a federal wiretapping case in which Wade said he had made a “strong offer” to Javonte Smart, who played for LSU and then played briefly. I put an end to the drama. in the NBA
Wade was suspended from the 2019 NCAA Tournament for refusing to meet with LSU, but returned a month later. Former LSU chairman F. King-Alexander told The New York Times last year that he needed “evidence of ruining someone’s career,” adding: “The president has to follow the right of due process. Was he paying the players? My gut feeling is, you would think so, but my gut feeling is that it doesn’t work very well in a jury trial.”
Ultimately, however, Wade was fired just before the 2022 NCAA Tournament, and LSU was notified of the suspicion by the NCAA.
A year and a day later, he was recruited by McNeath State University, the latest school to bring buzz to a lackluster program by hiring a coach embroiled in a federal corruption sting. rice field. Iona hired Rick Pitino, and Xavier hired Sean Miller for a second term after his stint at Arizona. Pitino then moved to St. John’s.
McNeath State announced a five-game suspension for Wade the day after they hired him. Thursday, there was little disappointment from the school, tucked away in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in southwestern Louisiana.
Athletic director Heath Schroyer did not return a call. he said in a statement His school, which has not had a winning record in men’s basketball since the 2011-12 season, said it was ready to accept the decision and move forward.
“Enthusiasm for this program has never been higher,” he said. “And we are all excited about the future of McNeice Basketball with Coach leading the way.”