BREAKING: Will Wade suspended for first five games of McNeese’s next basketball season

Published 12:27 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Taking a proactive stance, McNeese State will suspend Will Wade for the first five games of the next basketball season.

Wade signed a five-year, $1.175 million deal to be the 12th head men’s basketball coach in school history.

That is the richest deal ever for a McNeese basketball coach and second-highest to football coach Gary Goff’s contract signed in December of 2021.

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Goff’s deal, also for five years, is at $1.255 million. Both coaches have bonuses, as well.

There are also other recruiting limits put on Wade by the university in a preemptive strike against any upcoming NCAA ruling linked to his time at LSU.

LSU fired Wade before the 2022 tournament after the NCAA formally served the university with a Notice of Allegations. That came after an investigation into potential violations committed by Wade and the program.

The NOA charged LSU basketball with six Level 1 violations and seven overall. The NCAA heard Wade’s case in early February and is expected to rule on it and hand out any punishments if they are to come, sometime in the summer.

“I can’t really touch on the process because it is still ongoing,” said Wade. “The university did its due diligence, and you never know what is going to happen, but we feel good moving forward.”

For McNeese, the suspension is a way to show the NCAA it is willing to take the lead on any punishment.

“I respect the NCAA and the process,” said McNeese Athletic Director Heath Schroyer. “We have done our due diligance and I want to be proactive with coach and send a clear signal to all we take this situation very seriously.”

Wade will get $200,000 in the first year and $225,000 in second. In year’s three and four the number goes up to $250,000 with $260,000 set for the fifth and final season.

Other restrictions include:

* 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 al 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.