Photo: AP Images
Marquess Wilson, a junior wide receiver at Washington State University, left the team this weekend claiming he and his teammates have been abused by Mike Leach and his coaching staff, according to the Visalia Times Delta.Leach had suspended Wilson indefinitely last week for violating a team rule, but Wilson issued a statement on Saturday explaining his decision to quit the team.
Wilson said in his statement the new coaching staff had chosen “to belittle, intimidate and humiliate us.”
Here is Wilson’s full statement:
Dear Cougar Nation:
It is with a heavy heart that I announce my decision to forgo playing football for Washington State University. I realise the school is saying that I am suspended for violating team policies and may return next week, but this is a lie. This is an attempt by the athletic department to cover up what is really happening in that locker room.
It is been a privilege to be a Cougar, to perform on your field and wear the Crimson and grey. I would like to thank Washington State University for giving me the opportunity to do what I love most, to play football and receive a quality education for the past three years. I’m grateful to the athletic department for the coaching, care and encouragement I have received prior to this season.
This was going to be our year. My teammates and I were aspiring to be the winning team you deserve. Unfortunately for all, the new coaching staff has destroyed that endeavour. I believe coaches have a chance to mould players, to shape men, to create greatness. However, the new regime of coaches has preferred to belittle, intimidate and humiliate us. This approach has obviously not been successful, and has put a dark shadow on this program.
My teammates and I have endured this treatment all season long. It is not “tough love”. It is abuse. This abuse cannot be allowed to continue. 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. I am deeply sorry to those I am letting down. I am not a quitter. I was raised by my family, and many previous coaches to exhibit dedication and embrace sacrifice, but there comes a time when one has to draw a line in the sand.
Lastly, I thank my fellow teammates, those who also have left the program this year, and those we are leaving behind. I hope our departure will bring awareness to the physical, emotional and verbal abuse being allowed in the locker room and on the field. I pray for healing and recovery for all those who have been hurt by this treatment
After the statement was released a review of these claims against Leach and his staff has been requested by Washington State University president Elson Floyd.
In 2009 Mike Leach was fired from Texas Tech when he was accused of forcing a player into a storage closet during practice.
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