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Men’s college basketball: LSU fires head coach Will Wade

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Staff Reports

LSU has fired head men’s basketball coach Will Wade, who was in his fifth season.

The Tigers were eliminated from the SEC Tournament by Arkansas on Friday. LSU (22-11) is expected to receive a bid to the NCAA when pairings are announced Sunday.

Kevin Nickelberry has been named interim head coach.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports was the first to report Wade’s firing.

The following letter to LSU fans from President William F. Tate IV and Athletic Director Scott Woodward has been posted on the school’s sports website.

LSU Community:

Today, we informed Will Wade that he has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the provisions of his amended employment agreement as the Men’s Basketball Head Coach at LSU. Bill Armstrong has also been terminated as Associate Head Coach.

For more than four years, the University has patiently allowed the NCAA investigative process to unfold, jointly working with the NCAA Enforcement Staff and, subsequently, with the Complex Case Unit (CCU), to ensure the evidence collected was as thorough and fair as possible. Throughout that time, the University and its men’s basketball program have operated under an exhausting shroud of negativity.

As requested, and as required by state law, the University is releasing a redacted copy of the Notice of Allegations received from the CCU of the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP). The Notice contains serious allegations, including multiple charges alleging Coach Wade’s personal involvement in—or awareness of—Level I misconduct. After receiving the Notice earlier this week, we took several days to fully evaluate it and engage in deliberate and thoughtful discussions about our next steps. We can no longer subject our University, Department of Athletics, and—most importantly—our student-athletes, to this taxing and already-lengthy process without taking action. Our responsibility to protect and promote the integrity and well-being of our entire institution and our student-athletes will always be paramount.

Notably, our decision to terminate Coach Wade and Coach Armstrong is not an acknowledgement of agreement with any of the allegations. The University will determine its positions on the allegations after an exhaustive and objective examination of the relevant facts and applicable NCAA regulations.

We will immediately initiate a national search for a new head coach. Assistant Coach Kevin Nickelberry will lead our team for the remainder of the season. We know that the LSU community will rally around our program and our student-athletes, none of whom are alleged to have been involved in any misconduct.

Per NCAA rules and procedures, we are unable to provide further comment on the IARP process, the contents of the Notice of Allegations, or today’s decision.

Sincerely,

William F. Tate IV

President

Scott Woodward

Director of Athletics

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