Good Guy or Bad, This is the Most Wanted Man in Louisiana
There's no doubt about it. Louisiana State University's Will Wade is a hell of a basketball coach. When he was barely 30 he led UT Chattanooga to 40 wins in just two seasons. At Virginia Commonwealth he won 51 more in two more. And from there, college basketball's coaching wunderkind headed for Baton Rouge, where in fewer than six seasons he's led the Tigers to 125 victories.
So, why is it that Will Wade can't seem to stay out of trouble?
Let's go back a couple of years. In 2019, it was widely reported that Wade discussed an "offer" to a recruit, a major misstep overheard on a Federal Bureau of Investigation wiretap. And those accusations claimed that the offer he made was a large one. Considering the Feds report to be legitimate, Wade was indefinitely suspended by LSU, a suspension that lasted barely 40 days.
In August of 2020, more reports claimed that investigations into numerous, alleged, recruiting violations by Wade were ongoing. Then, earlier this week, the school received notice from the NCAA that the basketball program was being "investigated for potential violations."
So, what's next? Well, the bad news (for Wade) is, as part of his return from suspension in '19, he agreed to a contract change that says the school can fire him if he's either found to commit or is essentially charged by the NCAA.
And that seems to have already happened.
So, what's the good news? LSU higher-ups have a history of putting winning over ethics (Derrius Guice and Les Miles) and they did that again in keeping Wade around after the 2019 trouble. The accusations this time around are far less severe and the years-old charges now aimed at Wade would barely be a blip under today's college athletics more liberal rules.
Plus, 20 wins and a trip to the March Madness tourney every year rights a lot of wrongs, no matter how big.
But beware, LSU. As the saying goes, "fish gotta swim." Odds are that this isn't the last time college athletics' rules makers are coming looking for Will Wade.