Friday, February 10, 2022.
A date we will all look back on after the 2022-23 season is over and wonder, what the hell was I doing on this wild WACky day?
Friday has been quite the news dump in regard to men’s basketball in the Western Athletic Conference.
At 3:04 p.m. CT on Friday, Jeff Goodman reported that UT Arlington head coach Greg Young had been fired.
UT Arlington later confirms the Friday news.
“Change is rarely easy, and this decision was no different, but we need to inject a new, impactful, results-driven energy into the program,” UT Arlington athletic director Jon Fagg said in a prepared statement.
Young was in his second season as the Mavericks head coach. In his two years, the Mavs were 20-34 overall and 11-18 in conference play between the Sun Belt and WAC. UT Arlington is currently 9-16 overall and 4-8 in WAC. In fact, the news came less than 24 hours after Young has coached the Mavs to a 64-58 win at UTRGV. It was the second win in the last three games for the Mavs.
Sources say that the decision is purely based off results and trying to position the Mavs to get the best possible coach.
So, that was the first bit of news on Friday around the WAC.
The second bit of shocking news came around 7:40 p.m. CT. And it was a bombshell.
The New Mexico State at California Baptist game scheduled for Saturday was cancelled.
Jeff Goodman had the report first that it was cancelled due to an issue within the Aggies program.
Colin Deaver then followed that up with more details.
From New Mexico State official: the program has suspended operations indefinitely based on "new allegations." Here's the statement. It has nothing to do with what happened in Albuquerque; completely separate incident, allegations. Coaches have been placed on administrative leave. pic.twitter.com/MXDy5NcEDV
— Colin Deaver (@ColinDeaverTV) February 11, 2023
Nothing was specific initially.
However, around 90 minutes later on Friday, Goodman tweeted out that the allegations involved multiple players hazing a teammate on more than one occasion. That a police report was filed in the last 24 hours that triggered the indefinite shutdown of the program.
As you can see Friday afternoon and evening have been quite eventful.
In the case of UT Arlington, the Mavs have six games remaining. Associate head coach Royce ‘Snoop’ Johnson will take over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. With the New Mexico State news, there is a good chance UT Arlington will be heading to WAC Vegas. The Mavs hold a two-game lead over the Aggies, and hold the tiebreaker over both NMSU and UTRGV for that 12 and final spot.
For New Mexico State, it remains to be seen if the season is over the Aggies after the news came out Friday night. With the Mike Peake mess already clouding the program, more news of misconduct is not a welcome site in Las Cruces. It also creates a mess for the league in terms of determining if the wins against SFA and Seattle U should count. We will provide more details as they come about.
Multiple violations of school policy in less than three months’ time is not a good look. Would it really be worth it to let the Aggies finish out the season? If the coaches are on administrative leave pending the investigation, who would even step on the sidelines to coach? And with reports that it was multiple players committing the act on multiple occasions, suspensions have to be forthcoming. So, would New Mexico State even be able to field a team?
It will be interesting to see how the Friday night news around the WAC plays out.