Washington State's Wilson accuses coaches of abuse
Marquess Wilson dropped a pregame bombshell on Washington State football coach Mike Leach and his staff Saturday, accusing them of “physical, emotional and verbal abuse” and saying the school has tried to cover up his decision to leave the program.
Since Monday, Washington State has characterized the receiver’s absence as an indefinite suspension for undisclosed violation of team rules.
In a written statement addressed to “Cougar Nation” and faxed to news outlets, Wilson said WSU’s first-year coaches “preferred to belittle, intimidate and humiliate us. This approach has obviously not been successful, and has put a dark shadow on this program.”
He also wrote, “I feel it is my duty to stand up and shed light on this situation by sacrificing my dreams, my education and my pride. I resign from this team.”
The statement was released prior to the Cougars’ home game Saturday night against UCLA, which notched a 44-36 win.
“I realize the school is saying that I am suspended for violating team rules and may return next week, but this is a lie,” Wilson wrote. “This is an attempt by the athletic department to cover up what is really happening in that locker room.”
School athletic director Bill Moos later released his own statement, saying, “It is unfortunate that Marquess has chosen not to go through the weekend and have the subsequent visit with me as we had discussed last Tuesday. I was hopeful to provide additional guidance if he was willing to meet the standards that have been set by Mike Leach and his staff in their effort to establish a competitive football program … . Unfortunately, during times of coaching transitions, departures are not uncommon.”
Moos had said during the week that he had met with Wilson and offered to speak on his behalf to Leach if the receiver so desired.
Wilson, a junior who earlier this season broke the school record for career reception yardage, alluded to Leach’s predecessor, Paul Wulff, and his staff: “I’m grateful to the athletic department for the coaching, care and encouragement I have received prior to this season.”
The Cougars’ losing streak reached seven games as they fell to 2-8 overall and 0-7 in Pac-12 play.
“This was going to be our year,” Wilson wrote. “My teammates and I were aspiring to be the winning team you deserve. Unfortunately for all, the new coaching staff has destroyed this endeavor.”
Wilson was suspended after walking away from a grueling set of conditioning drills Sunday, a day after a 49-6 loss at Utah that Leach attributed largely to a lack of effort.