Reaction: College Basketball Program Suspends Head Coach 2 Days After Introductory Press Conference

Will Wade looks on from the sidelines.

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Will Wade has accepted his first head coaching job since being fired from LSU. Wade was let go from the university amid controversy as he was reported to have committed numerous recruiting violations with the Tigers.

After taking a season away from college basketball, he’s now found himself with a new program. He was hired at McNeese State on March 12th.

While he’ll soon assume head coaching duties with the Cowboys, he’ll have to wait until the sixth game to make his debut. Just two days after his introductory presser, McNeese State announced that it would be suspending its new leader for the first five games of the 2023-24 campaign.

That suspension was apparently written into the coach’s contract. On3 Sports dug deeper into the Cowboys’ decision.

Wade left LSU not for basketball reasons, but for violating a slew of NCAA rules. As a result, he is still awaiting punishment from the NCAA after having his own personal case heard in February. Since his violations were pretty severe, even though he was fired, Wade is still expected to face punishment.

So McNeese State is trying to get ahead of the curb and will suspend Will Wade for the first five games of the season as a way to signal their compliance with the NCAA on the pending punishment for their new coach.

There is a slew of other restrictions laid out in the agreement, most of which are linked to recruiting.

  • McNeese will hire, and COACH shall work with, an additional compliance officer to ensure the strict compliance of NCAA rules.
  • COACH shall submit a weekly report on all recruiting activities, which will include phone calls, texts etc. This weekly report will be submitted to Ms. Bridget Martin, Deputy Athletic Director for compliance or her replacement designated by Director. The Athletic Department will forward this weekly report to the Southland Conference league office.
  • COACH and his staff shall participate in mandatory weekly NCAA compliance education classes conducted by Ms. Bridget Martin, Deputy Athletic Director for compliance or her replacement designated by Director.
  • COACH shall not be permitted to have any off campus recruiting related activities from date of hire through July 31 of 2023.
  • COACH shall reduce official visits by 4 during the 2023/2024 academic years.
  • COACH shall be banned from all recruiting conversations between September 2023 through October 15 2023.
  • COACH shall be banned from having any unofficial visits from September 2023 through October 15 2023.

McNeese is trying to get out in front of any potential punishments given by the NCAA as it’s yet to hand down a ruling. By suspending the head coach at the beginning of his tenure, the Cowboys are hoping for leniency.

Fans and media were quick to comment on the quick suspension.

While Wade won’t be happy about the early punishment, it can’t complain too much about his new contract. He became the highest paid coach in McNeese State history with his five-year deal being worth $1.175 million.