A Pac-12 investigation found no evidence of physical or mental abuse of players, alleged by former star wide receiver Marquess Wilson, in the WSU football program under Coach Mike Leach, the league said Tuesday.
Thankfully, the league realized Wilson was only trying to cover up for his own lack of effort on and off the football field.
After a thorough investigation including interviews with student-athletes, the parents of those student-athletes, coaches and former WSU star wide receiver Wilson, the Pac-12 Conference found no evidence of abuse of any kind in the WSU football program.
The allegations began after Wilson quit the team because of “repeated physical and mental abuse” toward himself as well as many other players on the team, he said.
Wilson, who left during a typical rigorous Sunday workout following a crushing 49-6 defeat on Nov. 3 to the University of Utah, reportedly went straight to the locker room without consulting with coaches or players, cleared out his personal belongings and quit the team.
The incident sparked a long exchange and investigation between Wilson and the WSU athletic program. Wilson's letter to WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos was reviewed and has now led to the clearing of Leach's name and a fresh start for the football program. But, was it even necessary?
On Nov. 10, Wilson sent a text message to Moos recanting the claims made in his letter. Wilson stated that there was no physical abuse of any kind and even admitted to receiving help from his mom and dad to write his letter.
How could one man so talented, so physically gifted go so far south?
It is obvious at this point that Wilson didn’t approve of the plan and methods that Mike Leach and his coaching staff brought to the WSU football program. Wilson was seen as a teacher’s pet to former football coach Paul Wulff, who raved about Wilson and sometimes treated him like a king.
Wilson was not used to being coached sincerely, receiving honest criticism and being pushed to manifest his fullest potential. Because of this, he saw the criticism as “abuse” and wanted to find a way to excuse both his poor production on the field this season, and “get back” at Coach Leach and his staff.
“If somebody has great effort and the result is not great, we still applaud them and positively reinforce them,"Leach said during an interview with Pac-12 investigators.
However, when players do not display maximum effort, Leach said, “we usually let them know. It’s usually negative. Anyone is capable of great effort."
Wilson specified an incident at halftime of the 49-6 defeat against the University of Utah, stating that an assistant coach “struck us for not giving maximum effort,"and cited multiple counts of physical abuse.
After interviewing with the assistant coach and multiple student-athletes on the team who were present at the scene, it was confirmed that the alleged striking of the players was actually slight pushes on the breastplate section of their shoulder pads to get the adrenaline going and motivate them.
So, after all this nonsense it has been confirmed that there is no abuse of any kind occurring within the WSU football program. Regardless of the various speed bumps during the 2012 football season, WSU football has an extremely bright future.