Mike Leach is again under fire for alleged abuse of players. The first-year Washington State coach was fired by Texas Tech in 2009 after similar claims.
Washington State president Elson Floyd has called for an immediate review of claims of abusive behavior by Leach and his staff toward players made by former wide receiver Marquess Wilson.
Floyd’s decision came one day after Wilson quit the team because of alleged abusive behavior by Leach and his staff that included intimidation and physical abuse.
“I believe coaches have a chance to mold players, to shape men, to create greatness,” Wilson issued in a statement to Cougar Nation, according to the Visalia (Calif.) Times-Delta. “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.”
Sunday morning Floyd said in statement after meeting with athletic director Bill Moos, that he asked and expected the athletic department to report the findings of the allegations as soon as possible. Floyd expects the reviews from the athletic department and Pac-12 to resolve the matter.
Leach spent 10 seasons as Texas Tech coach before being fired in 2009 after player Adam James accused him of abusive behavior.
“I’m very sad to say there’s only one person to blame for this and it’s Mike Leach,” Texas Tech Hance said at the time.
After losing to UCLA 44-36 on Saturday night, Leach declined to comment on Wilson’s claims.
“I’m not going to talk about anyone that isn’t here,” he said.
Wilson was indefinitely suspended by Leach on Nov. 5, for violating unspecified team rules. As a junior he set the school single-season records last year with 82 receptions and 1,388 yards receiving. Wilson had 52 receptions for 813 yards before being suspended.
Moos issued a statement Saturday night, saying it was unfortunate that Wilson decided to quit.
“I believe I join many Cougars in wishing Marquess well in his future endeavors,” Moos said. “We have procedures in place that were developed to monitor student-athlete welfare in all of our sports programs. We will continue to follow those procedures and modify them if needed.”
Wilson does not view the decision to leave the team as unfortunate, but as more of a sign of awareness for current and future players.
“I hope our departure will bring awareness to the physical, emotional and verbal abuse being allowed in the locker room and on the field,” he said. “I pray for healing and recovery for all those who have been hurt by this treatment.”