OT: Washington State Player Leaves Program, Alleges Abuse by Staff

Submitted by Zone Left on November 10th, 2012 at 8:55 PM

WSU receiver Marquess Wilson, who was suspended by the team for the standard "violation of team rules" is asserting this is a lie and that he has left the Cougars due to abuse by the coaching staff.

"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 drams(sic), 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."

There are no specifics provided, but given similar allegations against Mike Leach in the past, the allegations will be examined closely.




November 10th, 2012 at 8:59 PM ^

Big whoop. So the kid had a concussion and was putin a tool shed. That's not half as bad as what my uncle from Georgia did to me when I dropped a screen pass in 7th grade.



November 10th, 2012 at 9:02 PM ^

Justin Boren left because of the "lack of family values," and Kurt Wermers left because of the thuggish players MIchigan was bringing in.


November 10th, 2012 at 9:05 PM ^

Leach does seem a little harsh this season, but his team is a massive disappointment and he was never the friendliest. I'm gonna chalk this up to a tough transition to an authoritarian coach unless some other evidence is brought forward.


November 10th, 2012 at 9:18 PM ^

I'm not buying Wilson's story.  He's a junior.  I liken him to the same dudes who quit on Rodriguez for swearing at them and dogging them in practice. None of the current players on this WSU team know about winning or practicing hard. Prior to Leach's arrive, WSU won 8 games over the previous 4 years.



November 10th, 2012 at 9:21 PM ^

I know he's much beloved by a large segment of fans, but there's a reason Mike Leach had to beg for interviews during his time at TTU and it has nothing to do with Craig James since the situation long pre-dated that incident.


November 10th, 2012 at 11:04 PM ^

That's not what I mean--that could be explained just by the fact that he'd threatened his former employer with a wrongful termination suit. That was bound to scare people off no matter what else might have been going on.

It's the weirdness in the years before that I'm referring to--the calls from his agent to other schools trying, rather desperately, to arrange interviews. With only one taker ever, apparently (Washington), even when the agent said Leach would pay his own expenses. The weird "interview" with Miami in a hotel lobby that he tried to use as leverage when his contract was coming up for renewal.

He went nearly a decade at TTU and was probably the most successful coach they ever had, yet he was never seriously considered for a job elsewhere even though his agent was aggressively approaching other schools, and even though the head job at his prior school, where he'd been OC, came open twice during that time.

Doesn't that strike anyone else as odd?


November 10th, 2012 at 9:24 PM ^

This was a hot topic on Seattle sports radio this week. Apparently, Leach had the OL at the PC after last week's embarrassment in the name of accountability. I don't know the specifics but I heard one of the OL ended up crying. On Sunday WSU held conditioning instead of practice. Wilson left mid-practice and cleaned out his locker.

Leach has been pretty tough this year, calling his team "walking dead" & saying they play like zombies.

It's a tough job to change a losing culture like WSU. Leach is definitely raising the bar & splitting the fan base.

I find it funny that Wilson said he's not a quitter but quit the team. I was thinking he should transfer to UM. We could use another receiver.

After hearing more about it, I think Leach should get the benefit of the doubt.


November 11th, 2012 at 2:02 AM ^

I find Mike Leach in general odd. The guy has a pirate fetish for goodness sake. Listening to him talk is just kind of creepy. I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't killed a few hookers himself to be honest with you, and I mean that with all due respect. He's the kind of guy you don't mind rooting for when he's coaching someone else because he's kind of quarky and nerdy like your weird uncle that you had when you were growing up, but you don't really want him running your football program.


November 10th, 2012 at 10:20 PM ^

I'm not really buying the whole thing. If he was really trying to protect his teammates or whatever, why would he drop this 2 hours before the game? It feels to me that he's quitting the team, and saying this to grab some attention


November 10th, 2012 at 10:22 PM ^

There was an article on Yahoo! Sports published just before  all this came into light about how ...well.... reportedly unsupportive Leach has been of the Cougars at times. Here is the link. CougFan.com has been keeping track of some of the comments apparently. Since it seems that some of the quotes were taken from  fansites in the article, obviously it is to be taken with some skepticism...

Regarding his offensive line, for example:

"Our five couldn't whip their two," Leach said, according to CougFan.com. "Sometimes they only brought two. Our five couldn't whip their two. Which means, if five of our guys went in an alley and got in a fight with two of theirs, we would have gotten massacred. That's just ridiculously inexcusable. It was one of the most heartless efforts up front I've seen; and our defensive line wasn't any better."

I will say, however, that Mike Leach is a radical departure from what Washington State has been and, if you're going from 20 years of .500-ish performance to the doldrums of Paul Wulff and then Mike Leach, dramatic departures were likely in order for a few people anyway. Without knowing much more, this seems like it is a multi-dimensional tale of cultural change on the surface. It will be interesting to see if the athletic department or school has any kind of statement in time. 


November 10th, 2012 at 10:55 PM ^

Craig James was the best thing that could have happened to Mike Leach. People are expected to take sides in a situation and it's impossible to be on the side of someone at the same time so offensive and so obviously in the wrong as James. That, I suppose, means you have to be on the side of Leach. If it's necessary to be on a side at all.

But what I remember from the various revelations at the time--remember the leaked e-mails about his contract negotations?--was that absolutely everyone involved looked terrible. The AD, Leach, the important boosters--it was an embarrassing clusterfuck of unprofessional behavior and seemed to have been for years, and that was before James stepped in and lowered the bar even further.

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

November 10th, 2012 at 10:55 PM ^

This is a weird story. Player seems shady. Coach seems like he can't manage PR.

Maybe this, maybe that.

Too much bs drama nowadays. Hope this is what it seems at face value. Bitter player, no nonsense coach. Worst case, Leach has too much pirate in him after all.


November 10th, 2012 at 10:55 PM ^

Mike Leach is a good coach, albeit unconventional. This just sounds like sour grapes to me. If I was a middling BCS program I'd love to have him as a coach because he doesn't need top flight talent to succeed. His upside for WSU is big and I expect them to shake the PAC 12 up in 2 years time. 


November 10th, 2012 at 11:23 PM ^

I think its true. Why would Marquess lie about this? He has to much to lose. He's a first round draft pick, and thought of as the greatest thing sense Ryan Leaf to Cougar fans. Leach has had these allegations before also .


November 11th, 2012 at 12:05 AM ^

Your right he may be lying , I don't know him but he's played on a team that traditionally sucks and they have continued to suck into this season so why quit now? When to be honest this is his last year before he leaves for the NFL. He could of easily stuck out the rest of this year , suspended or not. But you could be right he could just be whiny and vengeful . All I know is he's a great talent and I would embrace him with open arms if he wanted to transfer here. Lol


November 11th, 2012 at 7:48 AM ^

if this were to be his last year before the NFL and he was suspended then that may be a redflag for NFL teams. One the flip side he alleges abuse and if true has a way out that doesnt hurt him draft wise. it would impact draft status if it were to be false. so i dont think he would lie.

Ron Utah

November 11th, 2012 at 12:32 AM ^

Michigan fans know that new regimes always have detractors, and that's part of the deal.  While this is an interesting story right now, that's all it is: a story.

Am I interested?  I guess.  But only if there's proof that something that's illegal, unethical, or out-of-line has been done.


Ron Utah

November 11th, 2012 at 12:32 AM ^

Michigan fans know that new regimes always have detractors, and that's part of the deal.  While this is an interesting story right now, that's all it is: a story.

Am I interested?  I guess.  But only if there's proof that something that's illegal, unethical, or out-of-line has been done.



November 11th, 2012 at 1:06 AM ^

There is no way Leach would actually do anything that could be interpreted as "abuse," becuase of what was done to him by the James family.  OTOH, if somebody is too lazy and entitled to take being coached, he might as well throw something like this against the wall and hope it sticks.  

I mean, that is how things are done in this era, correct?  Fire off accusations and hope for a viral pity party?

Here's part of his "statement:"


I realize 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.


November 11th, 2012 at 7:16 AM ^

doesn't mean Leach isn't a dumbass, too. Glad we've got a coach who would never denigrate our kids like that. I don't really see that it makes your d*ck bigger to come on and shout that the kids are p*ssies every time charges like this come up. We all know there's a fair amount of abuse out there. 

Swayze Howell Sheen

November 11th, 2012 at 7:52 AM ^

Seems like everybody on this thread, with VERY little info, is already jumping to conclusions, with most leaning against the student and pro Mike Leach. Usually you get more thoughtful commentary on mgoblog...




November 11th, 2012 at 9:24 AM ^

I read Leach's book, and i think the dude is brilliant. He certainly pushes his players, and there are certainly ones that don't like or want the push. He is building a culture of toughness. That requires discipline and work. That is never pleasant at the time, but pays off down the line.

My guess is that things got a little too hot for Wilson. Abuse though? Thats offensive to those that had suffered or experienced real abuse.