LSU has to rebuild its entire basketball roster.
After Will Wade was fired right before March Madness over allegations of NCAA violations, every member of the roster that is not grading or entered the 2022 NBA Draft entered the transfer portal.
The Athletic’s LSU beat writer, Brody Miller, reported that Mwani Wilkinson was the final of the 11 student-athletes to do so. New coach Matt McMahon has some constructing to do.
This is a wild story and presumably among the final chapters of a bygone era in college athletics. In conversations caught through FBI wiretaps years ago, Wade was accused of mentioning a “strong ass” offer to a recruit, which is effectively permitted now in the form of NIL deals
Even though players can now profit off their name, image, and likeness, coaches and other university employees are technically still not allowed to orchestrate this flow of money.
While coaches cannot get involved in the NIL process, legions of deep-pocketed boosters — who are effectively the bosses of coaches and athletic directors at many large programs — can pay the best players to choose their schools with few restrictions.
Arch Manning is the subject of a bidding war between Alabama, Georgia, and Texas — at least — which will probably culminate in him making over $10 million guaranteed before he takes his first snap.
It doesn’t end with freshman recruits. The transfer portal, in practice, creates a college athlete free agency every year. The LSU players are capitalizing on that, and who knows, maybe some will get a “strong ass” offer and choose to return.
To sum it all up, Wade got fired for something LSU boosters are free to do now, and there can’t be anybody believes who most coaches have no hand in this process across the NCAA.